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“Domestic

Where's the wisdom in erasing a loved one's mess,
so akin to his signature? Your honor, I only meant
to strew the immaculate in his wake. To wipe the path
ahead and behind reasonably clean. Futile, yes,
but weren't such gestures essential to love's discipline
once upon a time? Daily, I harvested dropped fruit peels
and socks. I chased him through life with dustpan
and broom, smoothed his body dents from the bed,
soothed the mud tramped floors. Did I sin in this?
Better to leave the habitat sweetly reeking of him
than to spend years scrubbing up evidence of his existence.
Archaelogists centuries hence may marvel at such relics:
his mustard stained napkins, toothpicks chewed
to splinters. Never let it be said that in my zeal
to clean I robbed the future's museums. Who
am I to call what flies to either side of the trail
he blazes--half read magazines, cups of scummed
over coffee and mashed out cigarettes--dirt?”


Amy Gerstler, Ghost Girl
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Ghost Girl Ghost Girl by Amy Gerstler
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