as i lay dying i flashed upon the memory of a cross road i use to pass on my way to work; i saw it as it had been five years ago, a huge ugly red stain in the middle of the pavement that remained recognizable for a good two months before it faded; the stain had been created in a head on collision of a semi truck pulling out in front of a car, the blood from the woman who died. it bothered me deeply; i hadn't seen the accident; i hadn't known the woman but…that stain made me think then, like now, not just of mortality but that the whole world must be tainted. it stopped my belief in ghosts, this realization that violence and suffering and death must have touched every piece of earth; if angry spirits existed, how could we not be bumping into them left and right?

as I lay dying, the ground is heavily drinking of me, blood marring grass and stone, soaking so far into the soil that it will become part of the water table and feed the plants and the trees; i love this place, this place they dragged me to not knowing how often i roamed this rolling field surrounded by woods, far from crowds and buildings and responsibilities.

my murderers left me here to rot in the open as a final desecration; leave my body for the maggots and the birds of carrion to pick, feast, and swarm upon; leave my flesh to become rancid and stench in a festering sun; i'm past pain…but not anger or temptation.

stay. a presence, a whisper, hovering, waiting. stay with your body as it becomes earth, tree, grass, water, animal, us. become us.

revulsion. to remain. to decay.

become us. the wind plays upon my still form, a fly descends. i flash on the stain at the cross roads.

I see through the hungry ghosts.