wronged and forever in league with wrong

Sleeping with Ghosts
Stephen Dunn

The ghosts who’ve resided for years
in those perfectly made beds
in houses you visit overnight

were once just guests like you
or true inhabitants who died
quietly, almost happy, with the lights out.

They are the ghosts who let you sleep,
who speak, if they speak at all,
into the ear closest to the pillow,

offer you assurances of dawn
while their vaguely palpable bodies
touch you like a strange wind

looking for a place to rest
beneath the covers.
Those other ghosts, wronged

and forever in league with wrong,
so much as been said about them.
But the ghosts who sleep with you

and let you sleep are the ones
you might have invited to your bed
had you known them in proper time.

They might have believed in the future
even then, and would have let you
leave them easily, knowing somehow

it would come to this, you one day
drifting toward them, without fear,
in a world wholly theirs.

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