Succubus

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Toasting his dark pint of Ireland

to the night,

red-rimmed blue eyes

pinched,

lips furious,

Mark bellowed at the bar,

I want to be raped by a ghost!

 

The packed patio gave back muffled laughter

because was this okay?

The vocalized desire

to be molested

by the dead?

The fifth round

of Guinness had tipped

our grave discussion

on demon possession

and the Ouija board

to the believability of the incubus.

 

For instance,

why do once popular actresses appear

on ghost shows to confess

about a teenage night when they woke

tense

with feeling,

with a sensation

of being pinned to pure

Egyptian cotton sheets

by something

breathing

like a bear, hot,

pressing its animal urge

down,

transforming the air

into a burning scoop of energy

best described

as an invisible erection?

 

No matter for high spirits, that,

and we knew it.

Hell,

Mark was the most stalwart

feminist among us.

He’d studied

Kristeva.

I felt ashamed

for chuckling but must admit

I wondered

if such Lothario specters

in the rooms of future starlets

laced

in the haze of cinema

were distracted

from the fabled tunnel of light

by the fated fame

of their prey,

or were they just wicked horny?

 

Maybe we can label

these cold

sex-offending phantoms

fans,

whose disembodied afterlives

make the fantasy of living

and the reality

of limbo

the same.

 

And what happens when a ghost ejaculates?

 

I was dumb drunk.

I wanted to know.                      A ghost

has little to save

but a fading existence

of ooze

and penetration.                         Walls.

Bodies.

Don’t we hold onto all

we have left?

 

So nobody consents to anything

invisible:

does that mean

each malcontent spook

is a rape of time

and space?

 

My friend Maia had had enough.

You disgust me, she said.

A body

is not a haunted house.

A house

is not a haunted body, I replied,

not really following

the thread.

She elbowed my bicep and said,

Look,

you can’t chalk up

the terror

and shame

of physical invasion

to stupid

metaphysics,

                              Creep.

 

I slunk over the sidewalk cracks

feeling creepy.

I was pleased

at how the silent passers-bye

pretended not to see us.

 

I do not condone rape!

I screamed at a nightingale

or bat.

Has any has-been actress

claimed a ghost

went all the way with her

and cited for the camera

proof

of ectoplasm stains

on the bedspread

in the morning?

Fuck you,

Maia spit.

It’s what it’s like

when you

don’t want it

to happen.

It’s what

possession is.

A dead man’s

dick

in your memory.

 

But do the possessed ever know it,

I asked,

not rabblerousing

but curious

and a bit scared

of the dizzies that hit me

and began to unwrap

my skin

from the moth-light

vision inside me.

 

If I died tonight,

Maia,

would you let me slip

   inside you

one last time?

I flitted past the park where sodium-lamps

hovered

like celestial orbs.

 

I buttoned my coat against the poltergeist

of winter.

You can’t love a ghost,

said Maia.

 

My head was harsh wind.

Where was Mark? Where

was everybody with him?

 

I don’t remember the remaining blocks home,

only the same brownstone entrance

drifting past again

and again.

In bed that night,

I lurched awake,

succumbed under the weight

of Maia

sleeping,

her fists tight

against her breasts

on my chest.

Breathing

was difficult

but listening

to Maia sleep

made me sleep

and I didn’t dream

about anything

in those dead hours.

I didn’t feel anybody.

Photo by Ravages

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About Author

Born in Georgia, Matthew Harrison now lives in Massachusetts, where he's completing an MFA at UMass-Amherst. His writing has recently appeared or will soon in Gargoyle, The Saint Ann's Review, Ping-Pong, Word Riot, Heavy Feather Review, Kitty Snacks, and other journals.

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