Ghost Girl

To the person I was, the person I am, and the person I someday hope to be.

To the person I carved out of my skin

Out of my head to give it more room

For the person I almost see in the mirror

The one I can’t quite yet hear in my voice.

To the boy who sleeps no matter how I shake his shoulders

To the girl who lies beside him, faded pale as ice and drawing breaths

Ever shallower through chest

Folded into hard angles on the cradle of softness

The swells of tiny mountains too fragile to climb.

To the girl who robbed a boy of his childhood

And in turn gave a man the future she will never have.

To the only person I have ever consciously, deliberately tried to kill.


I never meant to hurt you.

I never meant to make my body an unsafe place for you.

I always looked at your reflection like a mess of scattered puzzle pieces

Searched for corners and edges to fix the disorder

But I never meant to fix you

So I ended up taking you apart.

And I’m sorry if lately I’ve only looked at you like a problem

I’m sorry if lately, I’ve only tried to drown out your name

With a new one I don’t even say to myself in secret anymore.

I’m sorry if lately the ultimate goal has become seeing you disappear

But I won’t apologize for searching in your cavities

For the missing pieces of myself

The pieces of you I can save

Because I have one last chance to be the child

I couldn’t be because of you

And I think we both know I can’t live as long as you do

So I’m sorry, I am, but it has to be this way

This has to be goodbye, for both of our sakes.


For years, I’ve been building myself up from your ground zero

Your brittle concrete foundation

Sunk so far into the earth it’s become almost impossible to see.

For years, I’ve been rising from the powdered ashes

Of the certainty you found in the fact that you were alive

And nothing else.

Your building has already been demolished.

Or perhaps, it was never built

Because you had blueprints for something new, something different

Plans you had rolled up for another day

I am everything you’ve been waiting for.

And I’ve been standing on the scaffolding of both of our futures

Laying down beams even as the structure shudders and sways

I’ve been crossing the bridge while it’s still under construction

And yes, it’s unstable, it’s risky

But I wish you could see the view from up here.


I wish you could see how strong I’ve become.

When your bones turned to crumbling sand

I blew spindles of molten glass from the grains

And hardly waited for the inferno to cool

Before stepping into my fragile new skeleton.

There is something real, and bright, and wild

In the melting burn of your passing

And when the smoke of your dying breath leaves my throat

Like the hushed, broken hiss of a closing curtain

The embers on my tongue will ignite inspiration

And when my first inhale crests my crackling newborn lungs

I will breathe fire, and power

And every vibrant, trembling, desperately alive everything

That you never were, and never will be.

I do not mourn you.


I do not mourn you, because no one writes eulogies

For those who have never lived.

No one writes for ghosts, or stillbirths, or automatons.

And though I have survived you

Though I continue to survive you

Though I continue to draw breaths ever shallower

Through folded chest and imprisoned lungs

They are strong and fierce and full of

More life and love and raw, precious air

Than you could ever have held.

This poem is not and will not be

A eulogy for either of us

Because I am still standing

And I am everything that you ever stood for.



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