the ghost house. It grows larger, emptier, more dangerous,
each time it rejoices in its own recalcitrance. Some nights it
seems the weeds outside and the salt and the hand-me-down
empyrean are starting to swallow it whole. And they never do.
They never do.
I always tell my enquirers how a house is a house and the
ghosts don’t happen to resort to rotting it by some divine force
of power. Ghosts are vultures. They are attracted to resounding
decadence, the deciduous liveliness of a carcass. Which is
exactly what we fed it to. My advice — and take it from me of
all people, me, with a house infested of ghosts and nothing in it
but a few old bottles of wine and the lingering, searching touch of
transcendency turned infimum — is to not get lost in
Feelings talk and they ramble and they promise before they do
what all feelings do: decompose. To keep them too close is to
be left with their remains all over your body. Ghosts, as they do,
will come to feed themselves.
Don’t try to leave the ghost house. One doesn’t know they are
tethered until they hear the rattle of titane, cold metal biting
down their skin. Just open the door and leave, they will say.
What do they know, them, the outsiders. The ones with an
unbeaten heart, still red, still willing to give itself to a pair
of strange hands just for the sake of warmth. So inviting, so
aureate, warmth. It talks and it rambles and it promises.
And what are you now, orphan. Now that the evening is
turning shallow and the second a muddled weapon of grief.
All the ghosts swimming around you and singing a few old
tunes you used to play when the burning was still at burn,
steady and slow. Your throat welled up in longing as you try to
sing along. Under your feet hard wax and unearthliness, you,
a prisoner of the land you once conquered.
Don’t you miss when it would smolder. You do. You do.

Lara Torea

Lara Torea is everything in between a high school student and an aspiring poet. Her words have been previously published or are forthcoming in Limelight Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, VIBE Magazine and INKSOUNDS Collective. Otherwise, she owns a newsletter,, and tweets @melarancholic.