Ghost

I see your face everywhere 
haunting me til I can’t tell
which man is actually you.
But is there even a difference?
Because he who drives past me
in the morning, breaking neck
to check me out as I try
to just walk my dog and live,
is causing a traffic accident
in my heart as it stops
for just a second, wondering,
is it going to happen again?
And he who walks too close
behind me in the store
seeming to watch my every move
causes my stomach to move
upside down, flip, turn, twist
and wish my scream wasn’t caught
in my throat so I can actually
call for help this time.
And he who says he’s my friend
and just wants to share 
a piece of his soul with mine 
is actually trying to find his way
into taking a piece of me,
however he can, to add 
another notch in his belt.
 

You see, when you took a piece of me
I had to learn how to leave my body
behind, escape inside my mind 
to hide from the ways your body
claimed mine even though I said, “no.”
You wouldn’t take “no” for an answer
and swore you were justified 
as you pretended to be my master. 
But you weren’t. You never were.
 

You were always just a skeleton 
of a man trying desperately to flesh
himself out by taking my flesh out
and wearing it like a sheepskin
to cover your inner lone wolf.
At least, you’d like to think you’re that
fierce and strong, but really
your cackle is nothing more than
a hyena’s cry as he scrambles
for scraps from another’s kill.
 

And so is that of every man
that wears your face and races
after me, one of many
potential notches. But I’m not
your trophy to win. I’m not
their game to play.
I am a person.
 

So even though your ghost follows me
reminding me that you stole
my sense of security, I still have
my sense of me. I know who I am.
I know what I’m worth, and it’s more
than glances over my shoulder
and brass knuckle keys 
and avoiding certain places
at certain times so no one can say
the fault was mine. No.
I am a person. I deserve a life.
I am worth loving and fighting for
and I am loving and fighting for
every girl that wears a face like mine
hoping to never find her own ghost.
 

 

 

 

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