A Ghost Story

by Mags Colvett

When I say I lived alone, I mean really alone. I mean years
without speaking to anyone. Not the phrase. The actual years. I once wrote letters
to a bad man. He hurt me, but he doesn't matter. Last night I took dictation
for a voice that called itself, in all seriousness, a ghost. It didn't even hesitate.
It seemed to feel no need to be further effaced. You sought my help, it said,
repeatedly, as if holding it over me. I didn't mind. So many people were dear to me
who are gone now. I mean, they're fine. Or not. I mean they're living their lives
in the cities I left. I swear I think of them every day. Not the phrase. Every day.
I guess I spoke, but barely. The letters waited. I wrote unsayable things in them.
Now I go out, I see friends, my friends see me. The unsayable things
I go ahead and say. I had the wrong guy, but he didn't matter. There is a way
of being so completely alone you are never alone again. And my ghost says you ask
could anyone love you. Mags, what a question.

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