I'm tired of lighting jack-o-lanterns,
hoping to ward off the creatures that
hang around the forest, scaring little kids.
I'm tired of friends' condolence letters,
sent from all over the country; from sunny, wild
Florida to the copperhead deserts of New Mexico.
It's almost like they don't want me to heal,
bringing you up all the time
in conversation; in apologies, excuses.
Darling, it's bad enough that
I miss you, your sporty style;
your sweatpants, cute crop tops,
baseball caps, worn backwards.
I miss you so much, Leto,
I'd accept you in any form;
even as a spider, ghost pink ribbon.
Just let me know, darling,
that you're still in this world, somehow;
you haven't left me alone.
What can I say of old customs?
Sometimes they're based on fact, history
long passed down like antique china,
from generation to tragic generation.
Sometimes; however, babe, they're
just fantasy, an Aquarius dream that
they wish would come true; they
believe in it so much, they begin
to think they've achieved something, a miracle.
But they haven't; they're just
stuck in their private universes of fear, sorrow.
I don't want to be like those people, honestly.
But darling, I catch myself
looking at a spider, about
to sweep it off my porch with a broom,
then pausing midway and
wondering if it's really you..
I know it's crazy but
that's what grief does to humans
when they've suffered a huge fall.
They sink through the floor of reality,
they don't care anymore..
An old Celtic legend says
if you see a spider on Halloween night,
it is probably a recently deceased loved one.
Oh it's why I'd like to
believe it's my darling southern Greek, Leto.
Laying my head on a goose feather pillow,
I still hear the children in the neighborhood
chanting “Trick or Treat”
but I'm too tired to answer the door;
it's long past eleven and anyway, what for?
I don't have much candy to give them, many sweet words.
I'm sure you've noticed how tired I am of
faking composure in front of strangers.
Maybe all I want this evening is to close my eyes and
dream up memories; when we were together,
walking down the California coast one holiday in March.
St. Patrick's Day, yeah; we were happy,
we partied on the moonstone sand with
all our buddies from college.
Leto, you were so close;
my hands around your waist,
rimmed with a beaded chain.
You were so gorgeous,
your cinnamon hair
blown about by the salty wind.
And you kissed me in front of everyone,
sweet summer lyrics and pop melodies
pounding from a nearby stereo
as our friends bounced around,
almost forgetting we were there.
But it didn't matter because,
Leto, you never were
ashamed of what we had, girl.
You only cared that we were out in the open,
talking about poetry slams, the best coffee houses and
whether or not we could have a quiet night all to ourselves,
your parents gone for the weekend.
Oh I wanted all of those things too with you, always.
But I wasn't taking into consideration the future,
how our plans could all be thrown away,
shot to hell in an instant, here on earth.
It only took a second for me to lose it all,
or so I thought, because there was a storm
and our taxi driver wasn't paying attention;
crashed right into another car on the east highway.
It was almost midnight.
I had to call your mom,
my hand shaking, the phone almost slipping
from my sweaty palm, and
there was blood on my other hand..
You were gone in a moment of confusion.
But there was rain, covering the windshield.
There was snow on the way, too.
Now November is only a month away
and the anniversary of your death haunts me.
Honestly, Leto, do you think I'm strong enough
to survive this winter without you?
I'd like to think so,
but darling, I'm not so sure..
Leto, you were my anchor.
So come by, sweetness.
I don't care if it's just for one night;
an evening of trickery, magician's curse.
I'll live through it, till the end.
I'll fight off the monsters hiding
in the basement as best I can
so I can outlast the terror and hopefully
sit on the porch, waiting for
the moment when you land on my palm;
my smoke-and-glitter spider dawn.
Oh I want to survive just for you,
Leto, so climb up my bedroom window,
like Romeo visiting Juliet; I want
to make you mine in the present tense,
not a past memory reflex,
the real thing I want again,
my gentle queen of darkness.
Oh Leto, please tell me this time
I won't lose you in the blink of an eye.
Please tell me, darling, that I do have
something worth living for;
something precious I can
lock in my heart for all those weak
human moments when
I'm feeling uncontrollably suicidal.
Give me a reason worth staying for
in this world made of last chance
paper and glow-in-the-dark marker,
stickers that little girls throw away
after entering third grade,
but we kept them; you and I, we didn't
want to part with that
innocent daisy chain time.
So come see me before it's too late;
before the spirit world claims you
all over again, because you know
Halloween is just for one night of
makeshift tent sin, girl; pillow fights and
lips coated in cotton candy blue and pink.
Come see me before you disappear again..