“A Danish Summer Night Spent With My Ghost” by Adam Curt Custock

It’s a blue-lit Danish summer night; the calendar is nearing summer solstice; 
birds are singing at the ungodly hour of 3 AM.

Pt. 1

blue light
blue light
not quite day, not quite night

Could be the psych meds, could be the fact they’re wearing off
Could be 
sleeplessness caused by my rapid wake
from our dog howling in a dream
—he never howls, unless I start first in a fake
“ow ow owwww!”—startling!

but also adorable
Maybe he dreamed he was a wolf, 
generational memories in his body and blood
What pack did he belong to,
what body did he sprint with,
and whose spirit came back
when my partner and I called him by name 
in our sleepy adrenaline voices
to wake 
“Gamgee!” 
wake

Pt. 2

His howl, or ours, must have shattered the invisible floor 
above the roof of our two-story house,
and ghosts must have fallen out of their dimensions
because one of mine is here—a ghost of myself
hej hej!

He rises and revolves 
and looks to me through 
vails 
vales
veils

of blue light 
blue light
not quite day, not quite night
I have no fear, no fright 

He holds a picture book of my memories, his memories
which inside
hold boxes of context,
and inside those boxes, 
are other, smaller boxes
of people and places, I remember some of them
with little ribbons of affect tied 
bows of emotions
strings of meaning that make a line, 
or a woven tapestry,
to me

Then the boxes dump into each other
like a bartender
with her back-and-forth stainless steel mixing cups
Then even the cups liquify 
and pour into each other

Again, he looks to me 
his ghost of me
my ghost of him
and we meld into some eternal soul,
connected to nothing and universal
floating in the heavens
like Bowman the flying space fetus
in 2001: A space Odyssey

I split from him and retreat,
this is not how I see my post-religious self at all!
I learned by reading Haraway in the headiness of the daylight that
“nothing is connected to everything; 
everything is connected to something”
that I am tethered and multiple to the world 
I am earthy and organism
not floating in some ideal realm

And with this thought, we spy into eachother’s thoughts
Then his face becomes mirrored surfaces on surfaces on surfaces
refractions on refractions
then fractals
“Partial Connections”
and I, him, we, are both containers and what is contained
multiple, multi-more-than enactments
that exceeds the horizons of
any god-like view from nowhere

Pt. 3

Oh dither 
help with this quantization error,
noise in the color
First space and time fell away, 
then disintegrated into some organized disarray
And now I’m left with a solid case 
of dissociation and depersonalization 

And with this thought, I thud back into myself
like a weighty crate set down on a table
birds singing at an ungodly hour 
my dog and partner asleep and stable
and with that, I am thankful 
here with the soft blue light,

blue light
blue light
not quite day, not quite night
I came home
and the three of us unite


Adam Curt Custock is an American expat living in Aarhus, Denmark with his partner and dog. He has a background in environmental anthropology and works at Aarhus University’s Center for Environmental Humanities. Due to spicy food having no love in Denmark, Adam has also started making homemade hot sauce which he is (a little too) proud of.

Photo by Max Ovcharenko on Unsplash

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