Here’s the thing about seeing ghosts—haunts from a time so unlike the present.

It doesn’t matter how real they are—if they really buzzed past leaving you unexpectedly grasping for breath or if they’re gone. They’re there, scarred on your heart, capable of stopping you where you stand, as real as flesh and blood could ever be.

I sat on the front porch and wished you away, watching the raccoons skirt across the railroad tracks through my haze of smoke and choked back tears.

I had thought I’d finally caught my breath. But I’d forgotten that you have a special way of taking that away.