The Ghost of Who I Was sat with The Echo of Who I am
and I watched them both.
One, I call him Ghost, ate nothing.
There was a table to their left – a family eating
bread, sharing carrot cake. The mother
was Japanese and spoke to her children
in that language while the father played
Peek-a-boo with the baby. It was the hottest
Good Friday I had ever known. Sad day, drained.
They say mornings like this when you wake
with only dreams of regret fresh in your mind,
are Black Mornings. They stalk the day like
a hungry dog. I see him, his paws are silent
and the day is darkened even when there is nothing
The Echo of Who I am, I call him Echo,
drank a little beer and did most of the talking.
“We should take the train home soon,” he said,
and before he’d finished speaking I saw Ghost
mouth the word ‘home’ like it was the last
word ever spoken.
This morning I woke with a pain deep
in my chest. It radiated down the fingers
of my left hand. I moved from the bed.
I opened the window. I let out all the air
the night had trapped.
Outside, I saw the neighbour’s
dog, a Labrador, coal black and old now,
in the gap between the garages. She was sniffing
at weeds. I called to her. She went deeper into
Later, the three of us got drunk.
“Is there any part of you that regrets?” Ghost asked
and Echo nodded.
“Every week, every hour, all the time,” I said
because that was the only answer there would ever be.