two ghosts with trust issues walk into a bar

They both

In their ghastly pains

Scratch at the loose dead skins they once wore,

Share horror stories, share fables,

Some about homes

Some about wars

Some about mudslides

Some about lost belongings with name tags no longer true

They eat,

One more than the other,

The other obsessing, obsessing,

Obsessing over dried gum underneath the table

As they look through each other and check silently for blemishes

The looking becomes a search party.

The other stands suddenly,

Seemingly at attention and attentive to a far off horizon-

It seems possible,

They feel,

To reach if only the walls didn’t keep closing in

“I’m claustrophobic,” this one finally admits,

And the other, ashamed, tucks away their tunnels into empty pockets.

The hours pass and the bar closes and they wander into the street corner

Beneath an overhead lamp borrowed from an interrogation room-

A police room-

A nightmare,

Although ghosts don’t really dream, they just wander

And they trade similar recollections of pulse

But it’s just comparing scar tissue that will never be possible to feel

Or to heal-

Flat footed, but not really on the ground,

One points at the forward running street,

Asks for a sense of direction,

But with hands so obscured by plasma,

The direction isn’t a route-

It’s a shot of a cry for help in the dark-

The other stays still, floating in the flood, water rushing through to wipe away

Their delusions.

When they try to touch

They miss-

Not for a lack of trying,

Mostly for a lack of nonbeing,

As one throws a lost bone from an old broken soul.

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