Your lips left a cellophane ghost stretched clear on my skin and built a fire inside my temples.

It smolders still.

I can almost remember the sound of them gliding smooth through the blind spots in my vision

and waking anxieties along the edge of my jaw

like children, stirring from their sleep. Those muscles are still clenched tight with the covers drawn up around their heads and

all the campfire stories that they ever learned are swirling around in their reflex memories.

I am unused to this kind of haunting, where the me inside me sits bolt upright,

telling himself that he doesn't believe in ghosts, only girls, and those made from soft and fierce, not ethereal and clinging.

It is not for me to fall in love with rain and mists.

I am a rational man with rational theories, and they leave me panting with no way to explain when your spirit slips under my door or breathes hymns through my ears or finds the hollow places that separate my ribs and slides between.

Or paints my neck with parallel streaks of unreal-ness.

I am your art gallery, with wide, empty walls awaiting portraits.

With stands and displays and glass cases and a skeleton staff, sharing coffee in the break room.

I beg for your patronage even as I pray it will not come,

for galleries never close. Their doors yawn wide and broken-jawed like unsealed crypts,

and perhaps there is little difference.

You have hung your pall on the peg by the door, and now you are at home in my halls.

I can chant my exorcisms and clutch at my rosaries

But they are not the wall that I want between us, only beads and words.

and those aren't very much.