Dad is a Ghost

By Emmi K. Blake

Artwork by Alli Rowe



It took until night for his bottle to clink empty,

the ice to liquefy, them all to lie destitute—dead soldiers.

His whiskey tongue spoke sour; I coaxed

the hours to blackout,

cowered and watched cartoons.




Peppermint tea steeps beside ambience.

I  fidget with words; feeling

recoils under the surface of dissociation

as the fresh leaves drift, confined.

The way the mint sinks is my mimic;

it doesn’t drown, but it tries for a while.


Thumbing the thin rectangle and the staple

holding it, I want it to be more filling.

It drops from my skin, runs sleek against the side.


I prepare for it to burn my throat awake.

It might find something

in the darkness of my trachea—the cells there.

I read somewhere that cells hold memories;

maybe, they could learn to speak.




Solitude will tell me things I never want.

They will not ever be what I think;

instead they will wear a child’s eyes and a shroud of

dust and cobweb.

They will put a hand over mine, guide the ink,

bleed something sapphire.

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