I have thought to fall asleep at night
with my door ajar, as those that
open to reveal deathbeds where
family gathers, stand leaning
with eyes of plaster, waiting,

ready to pick up phones that lead to
wailing places. There is no ferryman
before the death. He cannot guide
those that have not yet come to him.

Slender ghosts whisper this from
crooked corners of midnight rooms,

their ceaseless voices murmur
of old wooden walls and childhood
whims. I have heard them, they tell
me I am not really here, tell me my
bones are only pitiful sticks,

their marrow my future eyes. My
throated syllables to them in dreams
are spilled wine and broken bread;
their persistent words drown me.

Michael Paul Ladanyi's poetry has appeared over 200 times during the last two years, in print and online magazines in the US and abroad. Among them: Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Joey and the Black Boots, Snow Monkey, Poetry Super Highway, The Pedestal Magazine, Poems Neiderngasse, Circle, etc. His chapbook, Palm Shadows, was released in June 2002 by Purple Rose Publications, and his chapbook, Spelling Crows of Winter, will be released by Pudding House Publications.










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