the ghost and the marina

the slow, tapering boats bobbed and nodded

their nudging scrapes punctured the silence, and the ghost sighed

he liked their restless noise, the feeble signs of life in his cheerless marina

the boats were proof

they were his proof of life, promising future animation and presence of spirit

because the boats were still there, he knew he hadn’t been abandoned

as long as there were boats, there would be people

come morning, come amber to chase away the blue-black miasma, the people would return

he liked when the people came

they were loud and untethered and they would take the boats far, far away

he had to stay behind, though, and this was hard

but they always came back

it was getting harder each day for him to stay, and the tissue paper fibers of his body were starting to fade and gray at the edges

but he had to stay

because when the people came, he knew life hadn’t stopped

with or without him the world was still turning

he didn’t have to leave it yet

he could stay and listen to his steely, creaking lullaby until time came to snatch him away

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