by Nathan Savin Scott 


We are hiding beneath a faux wood 
deck and you are breathing on the off-
beat. I inhale your carbon dioxide 


and we recycle fogged air back 
and forth between us, the air fired up,
molecules erratic, and together you 


and I will suck every last proton out 
of this place. This is the place for ghosts, 
you tell me, and I cannot argue with you. 


The mist between us. The spaces in between. 
The other day you inhaled a Camel Light 
and blew gray smoke into a grayer sky. The leaves 


are dead. My father is dying. The cells 
inside him are turning in against themselves, 
folding inward like the dough I knead at Papa 


John’s. I need. One day his cells will pack 
it in until there is nowhere to go. 
I think about that here with you, under 


faux wood, the ground wet beneath us, 
the dew. His cells will turn inside and against. 
An infinity inward. Sometimes I think 


they will collapse into a black hole that sucks 
him down into the earth. Other times 
I think they will bottle up and then explode.


You are thirteen. I am two years older. 
You are white and I am white. The sky is gray.
The ground is wet. These are things I know.


You tell me that you think he is gone.
He isn’t. Not yet. We can wait a little longer.
I will keep you warm with my breath.


The ghosts are here dancing among the 
molecules. They swish dioxide with their robes.
They know how stupid this all is. So they dance.


I admire them. They delight in their
little world. I laugh and you tell me to shut
the fuck up or he’ll hear us.