38 Days Alone (After Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Real Me’)
After the last one left I swept away their loose hair, wiped their handprints from doors, locked away their skin-smell.
I have been cooking pancakes on Sundays and soaking orchids once a week. I am trying to fill this house with myself. Sometimes there is too little of me to flood this vastness and I have to push my ribs back into my body.
I have been speaking to people who are not here. Spat at the betrayal of empty bedrooms. Other things left behind like me because they didn’t matter: unplayed boardgames, least favourite books, work shoes, drying towels.
In the night when it sounds like strangers have amassed on my floorboards, I go upstairs with the knife I used to chop dark chocolate. I want the ghosts to know I am the only one to haunt here.
Christy Ku is a Hong Kong born, London-based multimedia creative. She was one of the top 6 finalists for BBC 1Xtra’s Words First programme 2019. She is a Barbican Young Poet alumna and is also Christy is also a short story writer, podcaster, and photographer. She is working towards her debut poetry collection.