The answer is never as interesting
As the queasy guesswork that precedes it.
Because a soul is known to lie, it does not
Follow that each time it speaks it does so.
“Farm Sixteen dug sweet potatoes. From what
I could see, almost all the men working
In the dry fields were stealing things to eat.”
In an age of plenty, guesswork begins.
In scarcity, nothing is as subtle.
This is what we who know no scarcity
Tell ourselves as we smell cigarette smoke
At dusk, conning our sources for how bad
It could get. Look at yourself, say ourselves.
I agree with Emily we’re haunted.
I appreciate the way she haunts me.
But Emily, you never existed,
Not to yourself, not anymore, and I
Will be relieved of my existence, too,
And my ghosts will go with me, even you.
Our words are our ghosts fomenting our souls.