AND YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE

Someone waits at my door. Because he is
     dead he has time but I have my secrets—

     this is what separates us from the dead.
See, I could order take-out or climb down

the fire escape, so it’s not as though he
     is keeping me from anything I need.

     While this may sound like something I made up,
it is not; I have forgotten how to

lie, despite all my capable teachers.
     Lies are, in this way, I think, like music

     and all is the same without them as with.
The fluid sky retains regret, then bursts.

He is still there, standing in the hall, insisting
     he is someone I once knew and wanted,

     come laden with gifts he cannot return.
If I open the door he’ll flash and fade

like heat lightning behind a bank of clouds
     one summer night at the edge of the world.

  — Mark Bibbins (b. 1968), American poet