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If there was a way to talk
with you, I don’t think

I’d use it. Titillating,
the notion of communicating

with another plane, my voice
finding your voice in a vague

celestial space between one world
and another. But frightening.

Too much so. The gift
the dead give us: silence.

We can claim we have
things to say, apologies

to make; we know it can
never be so we talk big.

One evening, by myself
watching television, I turned

and saw a pale white form
on the stairs. It was a woman.

She seemed utterly alone. Not
at peace. Not in torment. Not

anything at all. Dispossessed
of the earth, even of the house

through which she seemed
to glide. I was terrified.

It’s better, I think, to speculate
on the next world. Ghosts

taunt us with all we do and
do not know. So stay quiet

my dear, please. Let me forget
the shape of your face. Allow

me to lose, through time and
attrition, your voice’s timbre.

William Reichard on Fogged Clarity

William Reichard is the author of four collections of poetry, including Sin Eater (2010) and This Brightness (2007) from Mid-List Press. He lives and works in Saint Paul, MN.

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