Geoffrey Long


I am this ghost, inverted –
a splash of red on black on black
wistfully wafting through the sky
looking down on wooded Massachusetts;
I am life flickering, brief sparkle
that this is permitted to be,
crackling between the stars reflected
in this dark stream wending
like a sentence running on between
the starkly naked trees.

Look here, see this –
I clutch these maple leaves
to cover those parts best unseen –
this one here over my left eye,
and this one over my stomach,
the former to hide half of what is,
the latter to conceal what I am responsible
for no longer being.

As this red star – half a communist –
I am materialized as today,
I am cold with hot light.
I am a sans serif font
for the Word of God
scribbled in shorthand
upon the clouds after dark.
If you opened your eyes so wide
they could reflect the entire moon
in their irises,
you could not perceive my scrawl
or make sense of my syllables.

I stretch from horizon to horizon,
the cursive, inscrutable hand
in which these instructions were written
a part of the intended effect –
ever present and unknowable,
the North Star an asterisk
referring to a footnote
left unfinished.


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© Geoffrey Long, 2002
Lines: 41
Words: 211

Publication Status

  1. Inkblots Magazine
    Autumn, 2003


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