after Kiki Petrosino


They said it was my overactive mind

imagining things, conjuring up the dead


out of earth and lime; that three doors down,

the black thing that lurked behind


the stooped and huddled woman couldn’t possibly be

a velvet-tongued possessor, clicking, grinning


as it juked a jerky mime.  The woman drooped and craned, cranked

awkwardly, this way and that, until the day she finally died,


and I could feel something like fingers

lingering, reaching, the bulk of it confined


to my thoughts for now –   for though my family moved away,

the spirit held


its heavy-handed sway –   remembered me –    yes,

for once they tore her townhouse down, the thing leapt up in time


to clutch at passing birds, magpies, robins, starlings,

each one of them a dipping, tangled ride


that took it closer, course uncertain, blind to my actual location

but sensing, tasting, until the day I came home to find it


waiting through my mirror, above the ceiling, everywhere

around me its soft delineation, oh, my shrinking boundary line –


heard and felt, but still unseen, until the night it decided

to play out its most essential, last design – I had turned


eleven, just eleven, when it settled on my bed, crawled in

through my mouth, a worm-tongued whisper


licking out the corners in my mind: are these the facts, then?

let’s be certain.  let me hear it


one more time:

Julian Day lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where he works as a software developer. His poetry has appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press and is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2.