“Fantôme” by Benjamin Teperov

Benjamin Teperov

Fantôme

Sometimes I stop, peering down the road and trying to make out shapes in the fog.
There is something hanging from the trees. Yellow eyes wide. Watching—
—“What are you?” I call out.
It grins wider, mocking me in my own voice
Ore no kanojo?” I echo, “Maybe I should bring a bouquet for you.”

I looked away, into the trees and the mist. If I went off the path for a little bit—
just a two-hour vacation—
what would I see there?
A mermaid, twisting through the grey air,
or jewelweeds twined together with their friends?
I could catch a midsummer shower,
run with the wolves in the wilderness,
follow them to the edge of the trees and peer into oblivion—
It might be the best day of my life.

I step forward onto the road, flowing cherry blossoms catching in my hair.

 

*

Note: Teperov’s poem relies on song titles from Utada Ikaru’s album, Fantôme. For more on this writing prompt, view this blog-post:
https://poemsforthewriting.com/2017/01/04/musical-echoes-1/

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