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White Sheet Ghost
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House of Death

cw: descriptions of hospitalization/rehab

I died in Malibu
But it was a ghost town long before
I got there
A puzzle, two games of chess, embroidery thread, and blonde hair welcome me

On the pillow linen lies a smudge blood stain
I ponder whose it may be and their story
Who brought them to this ghost town
If they died in this bed
I turn the pillow over
The daylight greets us coupled with despair
Time isn’t real when you’re dead, but the staff drag to clocktower rhythm
My therapist introduces himself
He asks about me
I say who I am He says who I am
The living mimic like parrots, like the voices,
A mirror, an echo, to see the pity everyone else sees in you
My trust thins to the lined pages of a small journal
Run the shower and the mildew keeps company
The cabinets store the mementos of predecessors
The time moves fast once given in to death
I let my mind die; another ghost in the gallery
The shell, my body, left on a Wednesday
Sunny and slight clouds, parallel to the skies of my arrival
I left AMA, but failures are bad for the record
So they gifted a goodbye
I still carry the stone left to me; a beaver engraved like a name on a tombstone

I filled my hollow body with medication and mantras
Sometimes I still find gaps in the frankensteined ‘life’ I rebuilt
Reminding me of the dead body trudging through California sand
Here I masquerade and tell my story
As life is continued by the memory of the dead

JASON BRUGAROLAS (he/him) is a queer-trans disabled young author of color from California who is an ardent DC reader and crafter and this is his first time getting published.

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