The Haunting

You are asking for my attention,
But I have none left to give you.
I have sought the expert advice of my
Therapist,
Mother,
And trusted friends;
They all say the same thing.
She is looking for validation
or approval.

But you do not know me
And I do not know you.

My paranoia tells me,
You are trying to become me.
Stealing me from myself.

My friends tell me to be flattered.
I’m not flattered,
I am scared.
Threatened.

Lately, I have been noticing things.
There are things in this house,
That are not mine.
Evidence of a life
Present before I arrived

Nobody talks about it
Or seems to notice.
I do not ask questions,
For fear of sounding delusional.

Children, they see ghosts,
Or in my case, feel their presence.
I have always been able to understand
The energy of others much better than my own.

Adults, they justify and rationalize
The shadows and echoes
So that they can maintain a feeling of safety and control.

But I know that ghosts cannot hurt us.
They can only cause us to harm ourselves.
Because the living will always be more powerful
Than the dead.

The dead that linger,
Are simply searching
For a fulfillment they could
Not actualize in their life.

Grief, regret, shame, and hurt keep them bound to the earth once their bodies have ceased.

I cannot free myself while continuing to acknowledge you.

You only exist as long as I believe in you and that you belong here.
You do not belong here.

I have seen you throw things right in front of me.
I have watched you move things out of their proper place.

There was a picture that used to be on our bedside table.
It is in the bottom dresser drawer, now
And I did not put it there.

But you cannot be real.
To be real, and present in this house, I
Must have seen you.
But never,
Just a lurking shadow
In the corner of my life

I have heard your cries in the night.
The ephemeral words
You push into the world.

And for the last two years
I have allowed you to take my energy,
And you have. Willingly,
You have absorbed the essence of me.

All the little pieces that define me.
The broken edges and dusty remnants.
My dreams and hopes and fears.

The idea of being someone else is often
More romantic than being in our own shadowy existence.

Life itself is larger.
My life is larger.

tonight, I will sit in the candle light and hold a séance.
I am asking for your forgiveness
I am asking for your reprieve
I am asking that you leave me alone.

I will fill the house with the burning sage smoke.
A final farewell to you who does not belong here.

the haunted must eliminate the haunting.

So, when the dog barks at your shadows,
I will know that I have done all I could.
May you rest in peace;
remember who you are
Forget about me,
Forget about her,
Forget about the life you imagined you could have
In this house.

Because ghosts can shower, but never be clean; eat breakfast, but never again taste love; sit next to us on our couches,but the goosebumps they give us are the chill from the energy they are taking, Never giving. They lie
next to us in bed, occupying empty spaces that remain,
attaching themselves to people
Who might hear them,
Or are susceptible to giving them energy; eventually, the living get tired.

Tonight
We will all sleep.
Us, in our warm bed.
And you, in your grave.

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