Cathexis Northwest Press

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Ghosts Departing After a  Night of Full Wine

They go                   home

low                           light 

fol                             lows


someone                else’s 



through the            alley and

something              about lights


I know the              song

even                         if 

I can’t hear             it


Falling to                 sleep alone

dropping                off the ledge

might be the          best instant 


                                  of the day

Ellen Sander is a former Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine, where she abides still but not motionless. She hosts and produces, Poetry Woodshed Radio, airing locally Tuesday evenings on WBFY a lo-wattage radio station in Belfast. Juncos feed at her window.

"Late night conversations with intriguing friends, lubricated with inebriants, ending near dawn, don’t silence. They echo ghostly through the doors of their departure, in songs barely heard yet recognizable for their indelible riffs and aching familiarity. Neither are they lost in sleep, they resound through the semi-conscious love of conversation, of connection, of exceptional moments with exceptional beings. This poem is a primal recollection of such times and how, though details may fade, the aftereffects are embedded in sense memory. I wrote this half remembering such nights, some in the distant past some recent, realizing that nothing precious is ever lost, it just becomes a part of how I navigate experience. Like the luxe moment between drowse and sleep, it is something uncommonly common, never to take for granted."