For All the Ghosts Who Rise Up Against the Superficial Horror We Fabricate in the Name of Darkness

Photograph by Jose Padua
Although I have, on occasion, cursed at the light, I have never cursed
at the darkness. It was there where I first saw a ghost, which was light,
but the darkness was what made it possible, gave it shape, and made its
stillness profound like a great work of art. Light was the end product

but darkness was the point. Moving through a room when everyone else
has gone, where the faint scent of bourbon from a glass is the only clue,
I expect the sudden intrusion of ghosts but they never arrive. Sitting up
in bed and looking toward the far wall in the dark or driving a quiet road—

a mailbox, a robe hanging from a door, or a sign pointing travelers toward
the oldest building in town will appear to move but it’s only the darkness
giving it imagined life. In the light, everything is abandoned and everything
is separate: clarity keeps everything hidden. I watch in the darkness as the

universe expands, as the ghosts step up from their well-lit graves and the
lights in the merciless city turn dark and like infants we learn how to breathe.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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