I’ve been inhabited, spooked and haunted many
times. I know it when I walk the boardwalk
in the fog. Late at night. And see a white
rose, which I was given by those who came
before me, by the silent audience restless
in row seats at The Swan. They say it is an
echo. They said it is not yours. That you are a night
princess in your tiara—a little tyrant primping
before you sleep. As soon as you pluck a stem,
the blood beads on your finger. This slight pain.
It’s only the light. It’s only the light dribbling
at your feet. It’s only the plastic
chrysanthemums left in your dressing room—
a late sashay under the flashbulb of the moon.