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Gathered Ghosts by Jessica Nash

"There are no four walls, yet we live in a box."

I say to you — but your ears are sealed.
Ghosts gather around the edges of the bed
as we lie awake, watching,
always watching, and whispering
among themselves.

I fail to tap into you—
sensing only with blind intuition,
like walking down a flight of stairs
in the dark and knowing
you're not right behind me.

"Turn off the light, let's go to sleep."

Your voice emerges, heavy as smog—
like dirty coal-colored smoke
of damp wood and pine needles tossed on a fire.

We are not only builders and breakers
of arrangements of atoms—
but weavers of poetry.
We blush the hue of memory.

Your arm stretches across my stomach
and I know you are near sleep.

"We can find a crack or a slit in the box
to climb out of, if only we move on."

I say to you — but your ears are sealed.
You are caught in sleep.
And the ghosts—
they are watching, always watching
and whispering amongst themselves.

[Jessica Nash photo]BIO: Jessica Nash lives in Olympia, WA. She has a bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College where she studied creative writing, literature and performance. Her poems were recently published in Poems Niederngasse, Commons Swords, On Uneven Ground and Lush. Jessica has self published a chapbook called A World of Buried Paintings. Email:

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