The Cold Water of a Nighttime Sea

Constance rode her red Vespa through downtown, first light after a hard rain that’d lasted all night.

Everywhere was haunted by somebody, everywhere was haunted to someone. All our traumas leave their mark.

Constance saw them in the half light of this Sunday morning, the shapes and smokes of endless loops.

In life, in death, all we want is peace.


Constance parked her scooter in front of Saint James Episcopal Church, the grey stone place with the courtyard and cemetery.

She opened, making sure to be early like this, before the parishioners arrived, to once more try and comfort the ghost of the girl.

The ghost girl was there, beneath the statue of Jesus, still grey and cold, the heartbreak weighing her to earth.


Constance walked to the ghost, tried to reach her in the shadows, to find the thorn in ashes.

Constance felt the cold water of a nighttime sea, burning metal, screams, the fiance lost to war.

The heart drowned with him in the bitter North Atlantic, the loss that echoes even now.


Constance knelt at the ghost girl’s side, tried to whisper to her of the light waiting, of her love waiting.

Constance tried to bend divine light upon the ghost girl, to warm her spirit and dry her tears.

Again, as so many times before, Constance tried to loose the weight holding her here.


Afterwards, Constance left the graveyard by the little gate, feeling she was getting the ghost girl closer to peace.

A young couple were walking in, arm in arm, her head on his shoulder, happily talking to each other.

Constance watched them unseen, the brightest star is love, but it’s collapse can make a black hole nothing can escape.

All love’s pleasures draw blood.

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