Phantom Pain

By FireMajic, winner of the 
September Poetry Challenge “Deceit”

Phantom Pain

Spinning make believe chores into epic endeavors
makes them last for many mundane hours
takes my mind off unused rooms
and lips un-kissed
and a bed where passion has passed away
if I shake the sheets, memories like dust motes
swirl and dance in a vicious vortex
pulling me into a black hole
so I pretend everything is the same
religiously scrub, sweep and polish
while dark matter collects
like phantom dust bunnies, in the closets of my mind
I wash your chipped coffee cup every day
even though you have not used it for months

It has been a good day
no mail was delivered to the deceased
and no one called
asking to speak to a dead man…


Julia (aka firemajic) is one of the pillars of WF. She is a mentor’s mentor, an advocate and source of encouragement to beginning and struggling poets of all stripes. Her poetry is simply a joy to read

2 thoughts on “Phantom Pain

  1. Whether this poem springs from a personal loss or is an imaginative projection from a master poet’s fertile mind, I found it a deeply moving testament to how we ‘process’ loss. My entire ‘first’ family–except for one nephew–is dead, and rarely have I captured the conflicting emotions in words, as Julia does here. I shall read this poem many times over.

    Can’t resist a little fiddling: ‘make-believe’ s/b hyphenated, methinks. And would you consider line breaks after L. 5 & L. 12……and what do you think of “for you” rather than “for the deceased”? I think that edit would add even more punch to the already-powerful last line. Great poem. Thank you.

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