Not Haunting

K. S. Y. Varnam


Prove this is not a haunting;
prove I am not a ghost,
hovering in longing
in your presence, no skin
to touch. Prove I am with
you, not just wanting. Crave
this sore flesh, these aching limbs.
Hear the singing in my howling.

I am soft but not smooth,
small but not quiet.
I know sometimes you have to
cover your ears, take space.

Prove I am not a ghost
leaning into your life
with my sad moans
and cold bones. Prove
you want my hot breath
and the clutch of my chill fingers.
Prove I am not haunting
the land of the living;
prove I am alive to you.




K.S.Y. Varnam is a queer, neurodivergent, and disabled Toronto-based writer, artist, and editor, as well as the founder of The Quilliad Press. They share a bedroom with two mischievous parrots, Riff Raff and Mr. Wobbles. Their work has been published by several journals, including Hamilton Arts & Letters, Metatron, The Quarterday Review, Breath and Shadow, CRUSH, and Transition Magazine.