Ghost Signs


The wall is the shadow of a ghost
advertising the repair of fountain pens,
a long lost art now that we all steal biros.
The letters are faded to a whimsical grey
that whispers of a time of calligraphy
when we still painted our own wounds.

I feel perhaps I’m peeling too,
the flakes of chemical snow falling down.
The letters that say book blood tests,
no mention of what for.
The appointments to explain
my intimate history of disaster.

I cannot read my own warnings.
The symptoms are obscure
and the typography of surgery
haunts my small hours.
My DNA is written in a language
I do not speak, the swirls of mutations
that spell a future written backwards.

I don’t know how to translate my body,
even though they tell me I can be reconstructed.
A mural repainted brighter, bolder,
a clearer message for all to see.
Yet I sense the past scars will still be there
under layers and layers of medical science.

I never knew it would be so hard
to read the writing on the wall.