Ledi, excerpt–“Ghost”

May 21, 2018 § Leave a comment

I look everywhere for you, in tins and shoeboxes—

There are so many things I cannot find. I look and look.

A reel to reel with your name on the label gummed

to its centre, and a question mark.


Is it you?


I cut up your voice in C-control. Slip

the tape back and forth across the heads

to isolate a word, a breath

caught in the throat.


Meaning poured out of sound.


Slice it out. Tape it back again.

I can’t recall your face, your voice.

Tape your tongue.


How much I missed of you.


Tape your lips.




4 June. As she emerged from the ice, towards the very end, they used their fingers to work at the fabric on her body, to ease out her left arm without tearing off her skin. Her clasped hands, so. In this way it felt as if she were coming to life beneath their fingertips.


So I work your body in memory.


These barbaric methods.





4 June. They used cupfuls of hot water, to slow the spill of tiny artefacts




5 June. But I resist. I approach you sideways. A little at a time, over years. I write a line and score it out. Write another line. Delete it.

You recorded everything: the dopplering train whistle and the insects that woke at dusk. The man at the gas station who taught us how to say Tehachapi. The wind against the sides of the van where we sheltered at night.

You tell me, listen. You take my head in your hands, adjust my earphones, check the levels. A single insect, then a second, begins to sing. A chorus. Electric. This blue light. One group signalling to another across the land.


A train whistle approaches through the dusk. Enters me.




Two pieces of string

on her little finger —












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