Submitted Date 05/19/2022

The lights pulse and
flicker in my haunted house.
My ancestors walk through rooms
they've never seen,
touching my trophies with invisible fingers,
disturbing the dust of my life, and
mourning themselves in my haunted house.

At night,
and from inside the night, they scream.
Hundreds of years, passing through
hundreds of bodies,
this scream echoes now in me and
out into the night.

It pulls me apart;
it tears me in two.
the pain of decades and centuries
one ancestor fading into another until
Me, the collection of all of them
built up in this single body,
standing here, watching the lights surge
like blood moves
but no longer through them.
Within me, I feel the pulse of every one of them,
here in my haunted house.

This reflection, light and dark,
in the flicker, reveals eyes,
skin tone and texture,
the way my ears are shaped and my lips move.
Every pieces of me
come from all the pieces of them
and if I wait, if I let the waves of time
rush over me,
it is impossible to separate my own feelings
from all of their joys and their fears and their broken hearts.

I look for them in empty rooms.
I listen for them in the night
so that I may ask them aloud
for all the answers I can't find.
They dismiss me, unable to see me standing right here.
They are looking for themselves,
now only faded memories that will never move forward.

Can I ever stop the scream of the years?
The pulse that has become so strong in me
shakes the lights and
the foundation of my entire world.

Let me go from it!
or if not, embrace me
so that I may not haunt the houses of my descendants,
envy their trophies.
and scream with them into the night over
all this pressure here,
inside my own haunted house.

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