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These are not tears,
only remnants of heat
from your touch.
I mistook you
for a chiltepin
when in truth,
you are a ghost,
illuminating pain
the only gift
you've left.

30 Sep 10

Rated 10 (8.8) by 2 users.
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freak out.
amazing write.
4-7 is the meat.
and meat is good.
 — mandolyn

(isabelle, i had no idea this was yours- just lovely)
 — mandolyn

Thanks, Mandolyn.  Do you understand it?
 — Isabelle5

I think so.
You are mistaking a chili pepper for a ghost.
(somebody who done you wrong, girl)

But I could be wrong.
It's interesting--L4-5.
 — mandolyn

Close.  My Hispanic lover - chiltepin and ghost are types of chili peppers, the ghost being like a million on the scoville meter, the hottest pepper known to exist.  
 — Isabelle5

What we see, and what we think we see are usually two different things.. especially when that deception is a self-deception. The one we have ourselves, and the one those who are trying to interest us in them also use on themselves.

We want to see something, the thing we think is being offered to us, the heat of a passion, the heat of a desire  can often turn out to be like the ghost in this piece ... a very pale imitation of the real thing.

The ghost is barely tangible, a misty remnant of the promise once offered.

A very tight and well composed short piece with a end ending as unsatisfying as the ghost within the poem. Excellent.
 — jharrison

Ah! I never knew of the chili called Ghost! Haha. Still, the way I read this feels to me a good way of reading this :)
 — jharrison

I agree, I wanted it to be a 'can be interpreted both ways' kind of poem.  
 — Isabelle5

I used to grow the Chiltepin, very pretty plants, very spicy fruit.  I only heard of the Ghost Chili this week and was instantly captivated by the name.  I think I did the same with with Abyssal Plane and Bog Dancer when I learned those things.  Words have power, they can fire up the poet instantly!
 — Isabelle5

All very imaginative and evocative names for the plants, yes indeed!

In what context were you thinking of the Ghost chili in this piece?
 — jharrison

My amante disappears now and then, like a ghost.
 — Isabelle5

Ah so, my thoughts on the ghost is quite close to your thinking?
 — jharrison

Yes, they fit very well!
 — Isabelle5

Psst!  You don't need the comma at the end of L7.  The line break serves as the comma.  There's sumpthin' about that first pepper that isn't ringin' right in this; not sure what though-can't put my finger on it.  I can see how you're relating the heat from a pepper to the stinging of the residual pain which stems from a heartache.  I see that.  It's that the metaphor you're employing isn't connecting somehouw to the rest of the poem.  I'll be back to elaborate some more on this.  
 — starr

psst - I do need the comma, it's defining the ghost.
 — Isabelle5

Well, you probably have to know that my lover's roots are Hispanic, like the chilis.  
 — Isabelle5

I think that's what threw me off; the comma.  It seems as if you're using the comma to employ a pause there where a pause isn't needed and  it doesn't modify the "ghost" at all.  The ghost should carry right into L8 without interruption.  The comma should follow "pain" in L8 where it pertains to the "gift" in L9.  As for his roots, I'm aware of what you're saying.  That's completely clear.  Chalk it up to the misplacement of zee com-MAH!
 — starr

You also don't need the comma at the end of L6.  Commas are used to separate and or to modify as in an appositive.  Line breaks serve as a poem's natural pause unless modification is indeed intended.  Good poem though.  I like it.  :-)
 — starr

I think carefully before I use commas.  For what I want, they are where they need to be.  Think of saying to someone, Truthfully, you are only a ghost.  You need the comma after truthfully, same for my line 6, I need that there or it's a run on sentence.  I am pausing there but you don't know that unless I show you with a ,.

I am not a believer in only line breaks being needed for pauses, I depend on punctuation to help the reader know where I am breathing.

I hope that helps.  
 — Isabelle5

; )
 — fractalcore

this whole poem hinges on the word chiltepin. Hinges Beautifuly
 — PaleHorse

starr's right.  commas are misplaced and there should definitely be one after pain in line 8 where the gift you speak of is te illuminating pain in the previous line.  don't be so stubborn.  it makes you appear unintelligent and amateur.  
 — unknown

I just don't think a comma fits there.  Illuminating pain is what's left, there is no stop or pause after illuminating pain.

Try reading it the way I wrote it - pretend it's saying, "All you left me is illuminating pain."  No comma there and none needed after pain.

I studied punctuation, I'm not being stubborn, just very certain of why I place my commas and why.

You are reading it wrong, that's all.  Which might be my fault but not necessarily.  
 — Isabelle5

1-3 Tears turn to heat?

4-7 You mistook him for a shrub?

8-9 Why is pain the only gift left?

Great form, but lacking in content imo.
 — unknown