photo of wet hair

The Ghosts by Shawnacy Kiker

These figures (the poem continues) are unattached to anything, only sometimes they come with a feeling. A stirring, say, a sudden recollection. The sprong of diving boards in the blue summer and the smell of warm towels on concrete, drips of water sliding down, hanging from the palm frond ends of my hair, catching the sun, the first time I heard a song that clawed open the bloodshot doors (it was Round Here. She stepped out of the front door like a ghost into a fog, never noticing the contrast of white on white, which, in one of those torques of synchronicity, is about ghosts. Isn’t it funny the things—) a fevered prayer breathed into my ear, over and over like a waterwheel, a plea, the first time I struggled alone with her weight. Here on this couch, the dog sprawled beside me like a thrown rug. We persist the way all things persist.

Shawnacy Kiker is an MFA candidate at UC Riverside, and the poetry editor of The Coachella Review. She self-published her first work of fiction, Donald Duck, Surprise!, in her bedroom at the age of four. The work is currently out of print. Her poetry and prose have since been published by various kind people in books and around the web. She and her children reside in sunny and overpopulated Southern California, and dream of someday residing somewhere else.

Lead image“Wet Hair” (via Flickr user John Cope)