There is an old abandoned building on our street.

Sometimes I watch it from the windows,

expecting to see some pale ghostly face

pressed against a cloudy pane.

The crazy woman across the road hangs clean clothes

on a line between her house and the neighbor’s,

while her son sits with hand on knee on the front stoop.

She drags us into unbearable conversations,

of cats and rain, and parking permits.

I back away slowly as she speaks to us,

until I’m all the way across the street

and she is forced to raise her voice.

I feel at times like the ghost of the neighbourhood -

I peer out of doorways and from behind curtains;

I lean on the window ledge of the top story

and gaze upon the city that stretches forever.

There is a fear that lingers in my mind at times,

that were there ever a ghost to be seen across the way,

peering through dust-covered glass,

confused and lonely and luminous -

she would return my smile, and tilt her head as I do mine,

until I realized with nauseous resignation,

that I’d been looking for myself all this time.