Living with Delia
by Dayna Clemens

Living with Delia

I have lived for three years as much alone with God and the dead as if I had been a departed spirit. —Delia Bacon


She would sleep head in the closet for shade.
Sometimes I found her encased in the sheets,
like a plant cell photosynthesizing
throughout the afternoon, sometimes rising
from the hardwood floor, like she’d been greeted
by her dead mother or by some low-grade
ghost of St. Albans. Theory… she’d mutter.
What’s a theory? Belief without proof.
The neighbors were scared. One saw her ram
through the hatchway to get onto the roof
from the porch for her prayers, landlord be damned.
Do you hear that? Coming from the gutters?
she yelled down to me, as if I could hear it.
She blanched. Shh — It’s the Holy Spirit.


Dayna Clemens lives and writes with her husband, Mark, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She has spent the last three years as a validation engineer, testing large automated machinery. Look for her upcoming piece on Raymond Chandler and film noir in Books and Culture and her poetry in Bird’s Thumb magazine.

Photo Credit: MadameNoire (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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