Ghost of the Lowbush
Meg Freitag

Ghost of the Lowbush

When time reclaims a landscape, it takes
With it all evidence that something once lived
There. I remember the blueberry fields
Blackening, a black dog running toward me

With a bird’s heart in her mouth. I remember
Mosquitoes biting me through my jeans, my watch
Stopping just before midnight. The night
Edith died I felt like one of those ghosts

That doesn’t realize it’s a ghost
Until the train doesn’t hit them, instead
It moves through them. Then they realize
They can’t remember the last time

They had a drink of water, or tried to go home.
I walked around my house dying
To touch my forehead to a cool pane of glass.
But every time I’d try it, my face would end up

On the other side, covered in night.
Loving something that’s dead isn’t the same thing
As dying, but it isn’t like being alive, either.
Perhaps it’s a case of too much life. How,

In that dream I kept having, the sun was so bright!
It turned everything the same three colors
Until we couldn’t tell ourselves apart
From one another. I don’t want to forget this feeling

Because when I do, it will mean
She’s all the way gone. When he moved away
I carried a letter from him around in my back pocket.
Eventually the words all rubbed off and what remained

Was a soft, fragile square. Then I stopped
Remembering what it had even said and I grieved for him
A second time. On my back in the front lawn, I wept
Loudly into the air, hoping that if maybe

I made it feel something strong enough, the air
Would let me reach back through its masslessness
Into another time—perhaps it would let me touch
My own self’s younger shoulder

Where she once sat, straddling, in a blue
Sundress, the crux of his barn roof. And the three of us
Would watch the sky turn the color of malt liquor
As the farmers set their fields on fire.

Meg Freitag

was born in Maine and currently lives in Austin, Texas, where she is a James A. Michener Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Narrative, and Smoking Glue Gun.