Barefooted & Breathless

You’re all ghosts at 3am. So when my
tiny love came at 3 I was concerned.

(Who is this girl you say you love
and comes to you in a fog?)

I’m barefooted. Breathless, she probes the space
in shadows from the moon and gas-light

dispelling the other talking ghosts, at least for a moment,
but I couldn’t admit to being happy. Hard as it is to live

with ghosts, the presence of absence,
they were the only friends I had.

She appeared spectral, fade-in through white glass.
Measuring by the torchlight into the street how deeply

her shadow probed the air, I ran to bring her in
barefooted & breathless. Sweet pepper chimney-smoke.

I taste blood. My fingertips are bone.
Ice in my wrist pulls me up, gasping.

There’s a man by the river. He sings in the dark.
The road curls. I carry her inside, barefooted & breathless.

Adam Ai is a Puerto Rican and Basque poet and U.S. Army veteran from Los Angeles. His poems have been published in various print and online publications. He lives with a Ghost. Hobbies include time travel and teaching robots to love. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram: @AdamAiPoems.

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