Susceptible To Ghosts

from by Fred Thomas

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White houses prop up a blue sky
And there’s something they are trying to say
Through busted fences hounds howl on both sides
In a language that we’ve yet to translate
Down at the diner the children aren’t waiting for nighttime
I grew up in Ypsilanti
Writing down every mistake that I made
And I found you so many years later
Like a cloud hovering over a parade
That was me there, waving one hand in the air
And the other one glued to an old microphone
Yeah, it was me there
I couldn’t be seen there
For the skin that was stretched so tight over your bones
But it was me there, definitely there
I was your tears in the tow-away zone
I was the sugar at the bottom of the cone
I was the long distance call on the phone
I was the reason you had to leave home
I had a dream where I met you
In a windowless room full of wires & clothes
And I came to you in that dream with a warning
Lest you live your life susceptible to ghosts
That was me there, floating in the air
I was the horseshoe hanging over the door
Yeah it was me there, invisibly there
I was the shirt that your grandfather wore
O it was me there telling you to beware
I was the stuff that you stole from the store
I was the flowers you found on the floor
I was the white lines on I-94
I was the reason you never felt sure
It was me there like the atoms in the air
Like a bad check that some bad boyfriend wrote
And it was either two feelings or neither
You couldn’t have one without having them both
Yeah, it was me there
You wouldn’t believe where
I was the pocket of your winter coat
I was the ink on the crumpled-up note
I was the name that you kept in your throat
I was the reason you felt like a ghost.


from Sink Like A Symphony, released August 8, 2006


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Fred Thomas Ann Arbor, Michigan


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