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By Robert Lebling ’69
Posted Novembr 26, 2002


I am a ghost
Born of a hot wind
Like a leaf in the gusts of hell
My moment will be repeated forever
And forever
In the fragile gaps between thoughts

I remember: a rumble deep in my bones
Then a lost breath
And the sounds from my heart
I'm perched on a cliff
Concrete chunks and hot rebar
I'm running in a cloud

Did I see a face through plexiglass
That loomed before me
As the world dissolved?
That lean face, his deep dark eyes
Empty of all but a child's hope?

Hope slammed to powder
That feeds the furnace of our dreams

No time to be frightened
I've lost the cell phone that threaded me
To her and our sweet creations
Her voice cracked like delicate glass

I am alone on the brink
Prodded by the searing wind
I sense the great beast behind me
Plodding closer

I'm running in a cloud
Out over the world
But not falling

Suddenly I knew I would never fall
Because I am a ghost
And the nightmare is over
And the wind will carry me in spirals
Over the city

Robert Lebling is supervisor of online communications for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

To submit a poem, email us at paw@princeton.edu