I Took It with Me Somehow
by William L. Alton

I took it with me somehow: the rain and the cigarettes, the sound of traffic
early of a morning, the memory of smells. When a bus roars its black breath
something slips through me, a recollection, a desire for living the survivable hours
and fighting the rest, the long talks and long thoughts.

I had time for long thoughts then, thoughts that grew like ivy along the walls of my skull
and built cities and lives never lived. Ghosts dance at the edges of everything,
insubstantial, but permanent residents.
Ghosts walk with me through days grown too filled with living
the now that never ends. I can't say what happened
or if I was ever really there, but I can say that this is in my head and that that is not.

I am too sentimental to edit my own work. Best really to leave that sort of thing
unanswered and tell the stories as they come to me: piecemeal,
without meaning or context. They're just stories after all.
Truth lies in the effect rather than the fact.


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