“Volumes” by Ryan Ruser

The music stops and I’m alone now.
It’s a cold night in a new house,
So I see your father’s ghost
The first time.
If only I’d known then,
I could have crammed myself desperately inside you,
Yet again.

Ghosts are like that sometimes—
More times than you might think.
I’m sweating moths over this,
And for what?
Sure, I’m a 4:23 AM Sunday, but I can be more—
You of all people should talk to me soon or I’ll scream
(figuratively, you know I’m not one for high volumes).
I don’t want to fall asleep again.

The autumnwinter weather where you first ignored me,
I smell it and I feel everything:
A chill, a drop, a space.
I listen to the songs I think you would
If you were awake right now.
“If I go back I can change it,”
He writes a hundred times,
A thousand times,
Until it’s almost true.
Yet again, I don’t want to fall asleep.


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