Yes, we endured the eternal
racket the ghosts made
with their bad breath, unwashed toes
with their shriveled fingers in our ears
with the clattering they made in the kitchen
and we heard the pots fall out
the window, we heard the salt
in avalanches, their secrets, sultry,
laughing behind the cabinets
we painted all those years ago
bright blue, to match the horizon
we'd grieve later. Well, those ghosts,
they didn't stop, so we rose
to catch them in insect nets
and coo to them in gentle voices:
Hey, my loves, we were sleeping.
We were sleeping and you
woke us up.
—Published 13th of December 2022
About E.K. Bartlett
E.K. Bartlett is an Iowa-born, New York-educated, Paris-based writer. They are the recipient of the Gigantic Sequins Poetry Award of 2021, and were nominated for Best of the Net fall 2022. Find them in Asymptote, Jet Fuel Review, Indigo Literary, Rust + Moth, among others.