Your Haunting is Your Own – William Doreski

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After splashing kerosene
on the verandah you fumble
for a match. I restrain you,
confiscate your matches, phone

police and fire department.
With you taken away the house
sighs a zeppelin of a sigh.
But how did it get so haunted?

Blue balloons weep at the windows.
Thuds of vicious tonality
stalk up and down the hallways.
Cannibal portraits munch and grin.

The air reeks of oily incense
from islands still unexplored
by anyone sane enough
to sketch a coherent map.

Sacraments enact the naked
founding of the human impulse
to grow unaccountable whiskers
and draw unlikely tattoos.

You tired of this dumbshow’s
refusal to stay dumb. You swore
you’d fossilize every plaster
statue and gilt-rimmed mirror.

When all the doors swung open
to reveal a bottomless dark
you dashed to the shed and grabbed
the gardener’s tin of kerosene.

While you’re stewing at McLean’s
I’ll auction off the worldly goods,
bulldoze the house and erect
a block of boring apartments.

Your outrage will dissipate
as debris fills the cellar hole
and the pathos of your haunting
blisters in the public light.

About the contributor: William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print william-doreski175journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (2019).

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