I've  been  keeping  track
of      ghosts    you    left
in            my           head.

Your silhouette plastered
behind                       my
  j  a  y  w  a  l  k  i  n  g
through  intersections of
memory, waiting to be
      struck       down.

Empty  echoes  of coffee
kisses  pressed  in elbow
creases,    silence  where
once    cupped   laughter
pooled in  my  palms, the
feverish    lash    of   your
tongue   slicing   in   soft
spots of flesh          ( hid
den)                       in my

Your   toes  have  worn  a
shadow  across  the floor,
dark   footprints   in   the
carpet.  My  feet  are still
too tiny to fill the gaping
vacuum of   expectations
you    drew    along    the
doorjamb.     No    matter
how  I   strain or  stretch,
all   my   marks   still  fall

I awake every  night with
a phantom at the foot of
my bed, grasping fingers
at   my   ankles  scraping
nails   against  my  knees
bound    by   hands  that
vanish      when       eyes

Years  later,  your  ghost
still haunts my midnight.



You do not disappear all at once.
I have been slowly disappearing for years.

A strip-tease of naked skin that winks
in burnished day light a polished opal,

crystalline, crushed—then flickers out,
smoke curling around my hip bones,

casting lines of sun-swirling dust
a clouded mirage in a tiny, invisible box.

I have always been a shadow in the making.
A puddle of rainbow oil pooling in a forgotten

drive, sulfur-scented and slick between your fingers.
Play the space between my collarbones,

harpsichord and xylophone,
notes only pretty beneath a swell of other sounds.

I am a question mark in the shape of a girl,
forever punctuating the end of others’ statements,

trying to belong, to be loved, in a way that feels
like a dress, pearled buttons along my spine and lace

hand-wrapped, nestled under my throatlatch.
I am a question mark, a trailing ellipsis,

voiceless corrections in the brackets
imbedded deep in the paragraphs.

There is no tomorrow.
There is a morgue in my bed, ribcage splintered

open, the cracked binding of a novel, unloosing
a tangle of red ribbons, untied, pinky-less.


AMY WILLIAMSON is a graduate student of Youngstown State University and a student of fiction in the Northeast Ohio MFA program. She is both the secretary and a reader for Youngstown State’s online literary journal Jenny Magazine. Her poem “Auto Correct” is forthcoming in the May issue of the Gordon Square Review.