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Ghost Stories

The Undoing

Issha Marie Onoya

Phantom Limb

I walk through groups of strangers and see you.
Double back, double take, shake my head, tell myself


It's today of all days, everyday.

Why now and not then?
Always it is not, but then, when?

I look for you in groups of strangers
wearing half dread, half not.
My stomach lurches every time.
My heartbeat a bellowing echo.

My mind goes through scenarios:
what to do, what not to do when...
like a pre-flight safety demonstration.

How To Put On Your Oxygen Mask.

Don't forget to breathe.

Breathe through the ache of letting go.
This undoing is painful work.
You must undo until there are only scars,
and strangers are only strangers.

- IM 2017