A GHOST

	Phoenician inscribers of epitaphs were killed by Phoenician warriors themselves,
	because they advocated an end to the war with the Greeks, and those who remained, 
	continued to live like ghosts under threat of death
			—From a tombstone in Idalion, Cyprus, 8c BC

Only as a ghost can I now return to my own home,
emerging from blurred mirrors. I haven't much time.
I throw the windows open, in utter dark, starlight
floods the rooms. I shake the dust off the curtains,
off the linen draped over bookshelves. I must also clean 
with my moist breath, the family pictures in frames.
The avenging angels of this polyglot house, now silenced,
make every one who enters it, promise to write
against wars, against everything jingoist, even tongues.
Sprinkle the antkiller around like enchanted words,
the mothballs. I've wiped the floors clean. I lock the doors, 
and I'm off again, no one has even seen me.
	I'm a phantom... they can't have me killed.