Roommate, by Cislyn Smith

the ghost screams
twenty-three minutes before your alarm
makes the towels musty damp
all the damn time
she shatters your favorite mug
and hides the superglue in the freezer
insists on slamming doors shut
and opens all the windows wide in winter
you can’t really blame her
for being cranky,
a sullen spectral roommate
wafting through repainted walls
wailing at odd hours
you’re in her house
rudely redecorating
walking through her, oblivious,
making tea where she once ate breakfast
doing laundry in the basement
right over her remains
living with the living
is basically the worst

Cislyn Smith likes playing pretend, playing games, and playing with words. She calls Madison, Wisconsin her home. She has been known to crochet tentacles, write stories at odd hours, and study stone dead languages. She is occasionally dismayed by the lack of secret passages in her house. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Strange Horizons, Diabolical Plots, and Mermaids Monthly. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise Workshop, a first reader for Uncanny and GigaNotoSaurus, and a founding member of The Dream Foundry.

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