Shelley Whitaker

My Future as a Ghost

Maybe I’ll linger

in some Appalachian motel,
windows scrubbed by dead branch
and dry wind, sleep in a bed
whose flowers have been pressed
into silhouette by years and years 
of bodies.

Here I’ll dream of reaching hands—
flickering into pixel, into shadow.

Outside, ghosts of poolboys
will sift dead leaves in and out
of the water.

The desk clerk will call
from his glass room of dirty light
just to ask if I’m alone. I won’t answer,
not even to still the ringing.

Shelley Whitaker is an undergraduate student at Hollins University. She was the recipient of the 2013 Adroit Prize for Poetry, and her poetry has appeared in Punchnel’s and Verse Daily. She serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal.