poetry, photography, etc.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The Chinese are always very frightened of the drowned one, whose weeping ghost, wet hair hanging and skin bloated, waits silently by the water to pull down a substitue.

—Maxine Hong Kingston

My uncle haunts me
stands on the toilet while I shower
eyes ringed with shadow
looks down over the curtain.

Fog clears on the mirror
reveals his bloated face
skin tight and shiny
jaw slack, pale open
lips with turned up corners
his eyes follow me as I
dry my hair, but he
can’t blink.

When I lay in bed at night
his knock is hollow on my door
mom said not to answer
not to let him in.

They never speak his name aloud
a ghost; it lingers on the edge of lips
unsaid. I break the silence
whisper Tim
turn the doorknob,
let him in.

1 comment:

  1. This is a truly disturbing poem. In a few lines you captured what the tenuous fibers of memory create post tragedy: the ghost of a person that once was and the ominous empty space they leave behind.

    Also really cool Maxim Hong Kingston Quote. My high school writing mentor is in her Veteran's Workshop. He says she's a really cool lady and great writer.