Like Touching A Ghost
by Criss Moody

Can't stand touching you now. It's like I'm putting fingers, hands on something that's gone. Doesn't exist, never did, and I don't want to think about that. How something once so visceral and full of real, so loved, could disappear. Almost overnight, dead and gone.

Leaving a ghost behind. Barely there, but there's just enough to make me want more. Every. Time. We come together. We attempt conversation. Half-smiles and stilted words, scratching at our shiny surfaces.

See? I'm fine now. You're fine now. We have lives without each other. No intersections, no meshing. Where once we had common ground, we've burned and salted the earth. Better that way.

But the demon's not forgetting. My blood's not forgetting. I smell it in you, a foul, dead thing sending bolts of what mortals don't understand through your heart. Boombaboomboom boombaboomboom. Rotting lilies, dried rose petals, and the grave. Lending strength to the sunshine and daisies and life.

You'll always smell of life to me.

There's so little left now. No going back and forward. You're not there. You won't be. I think you know that and it makes me feel. Better. You'll fight. You'll age. You'll die.

I can stop thinking. About you. About picnics in the sun and happy, fat babies. Desecration of the demon. Perversion of what I am. Demon. Dead.

I'll forget the trappings. Skin and bone and blinding white smile. Honey silk hair, corn silk hair, depending on

your mood. The strut/run of your body in motion, swaying, ass-cheeks jiggling just enough to make me lick my lips. Enough to grab on to. You in a nutshell. A living breathing reason to love my soul. A thing to grab and hold

and possess. All mine. In love with only me. Such a sweet thing, to be needed.

By my time line, that'll all be gone soon. Mortals don't go easily. You'll fight for life, lose, and spend far too long easing off into food for the worms. Emptied of bodily fluids, dry husk. No more soul, just the casing. Meaningless.

I don't want mementos. Your pictures will crumble. Forgotten under a pile of books. Locks of hair, letters, gifts. Doesn't mean anything. I'll go on, you'll die, and holding on is a human game.

I see the knowledge in your eyes. Where your mother now lies, you'll be. In the ground, a sickening mortal death. No rhyme, no reason. I'll come, and tears will ice my cheeks, and everyone will pity me. Or hate me. As the friends that made it stand over your private mound of dirt, I'll be waiting for the moment. Someone will weep, themselves into my arms. Another will mutter something polite, then there's the punch in the arm, and the pat on the back.

I'll keep my words to myself. It doesn't matter that you're dead. What really matters still lives in me, and everything else is ephemeral.


You weren't always like this. I remember sweet things. Things that made me blush and giggle because I was 16 and you were. Older. And I wanted all the mysterious things that I saw behind your eyes and knew nothing about.

Sex. Love. Babies and Happy Lives.

Not Death. Hate. Violence.

I want lots of things, and I've gotten some of it. Snatches of hidden moments with you in cemeteries. Like now, only then mom was streets away and oblivious to what her daughter did after hours.

If I think too much about all my mom never knew, I start to cry and I can see you don't want. Need. To know.

I'm sorry. You're probably thinking 'God, please let me leave soon, if you really exist, I'll be so good you'll never have to send me to hell again. Just get me away from the hysterical ex-girlfriend.'

I feel the difference in the way you touch me. Want. But more grief. You touch me like I'm already dead.

Already a memory, not quite forgotten, but too indistinct to bring to mind. Did she have blonde hair? Or light brown? Were her eyes hazel or more green? You know, I don't know. I guess I forgot somewhere.

There's some root of girly anger that my boyfriend, sorry ex, could ever forget what I look like. I mean, soulmates? Hello? But it's more understandable than not. You're immortal. Who cares what I looked like? Or that I existed?

I hope, I believe, you'll remember something. Maybe a moment, or a word, or a smell. The rain-drenched, flowery smell of my body the night we made love. I'd like it if you brought that back after my death, who was that girl? Did I love her? Maybe, seems like it was a good smell.

Or, disturbing thought here, my blood. You drank from me. Dug deep and brought out what makes me, me. Slayer blood. There are times. When you've looked at me and you don't see me you smell me and it's not me. It's my blood. Tangy dark, and pumping through my veins. Yeah. Like that.

You're running your fingers along my arms, raising the peach fuzz, the barest hint of electricity. More real than


My mom used to read The Velveteen Rabbit to me, that story about the toy rabbit who was loved to death, and in the loving became real. I think, uh, I think we stopped loving and we stopped being real. We're jaded memories and possessions and transient hopes built on what a 16 year old thought love was.

Kinda depressing. But while I've got you here, I'll kiss you, and smell your clean, cold skin, and think of days where more than ghosts lived between us.


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