Dear Ethan

The most overused word in English poetry is ghost
but I’ve already used it once so far in this poem,
thousands of times in this life of mine,
an exit wound that never follows its own advice.
So I refer to all my hookups in past tense,
like hey there are those spirits I made out with once,
there’s that poltergeist who ground my hips
down to bone in a dark alleyway.
They say over a thousand men
have claimed to be Ethan Patz
every year since he went missing;
makes you wonder if that boy you kissed
a few weeks ago at the neighbor’s party
was him – teeth, body, & all.

About Meggie Royer

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poetry has been published in Words Dance Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, and Rib Cage. She also has two published poetry books, Survival Songs and Healing Old Wounds with New Stitches. Her work can be found at

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