Forget about that cartoon

friendly ghost and forget

about that wisp-of-fog

that looked surprisingly

like Lucky, your first dog.

And forget about those

specter-detectors the

comic books tried to sell

you when you were 13.

An honest ghost-  

detective once stated

that he’d spent three

decades and tons of

money exhaustively

searching for evidence

of even one example

of ghostly activity but

could verify none.

And like the rare honest

politician, he found that

telling the truth was the

quickest way to end a

career. But there are

real ghosts. I see them

nearly everywhere now:

the library, mall, the fast-

food spot down the street.

Most would say they’re

just as flesh-substantial

as you or me, though

their clothes tend to

be frayed and ratty,

but not always. These ghosts

either mutter to themselves

or say nothing at all. Their

faces often resemble those

crumpled road maps we’d

shove in our glove compartments

back in the 80s. And like those

maps, their faces never took

them where they needed to be.

Sometimes they look hard at

those living ones who can only see

through or past them, and then these

ghosts ask themselves if anything or

anyone else is real. To tell you

the truth, I’m starting to wonder

if I’m becoming a ghost myself;

it seems like they’re the only ones

who can see me these days. Like

I’m becoming increasingly

insubstantial to the living as

the years stagger on. Even now,

as I type this, I could swear I see

my fingers pass halfway into the

keyboard. And I doubt this poem

will be felt by anyone of living blood

–or anyone who could make me

real again.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion) : Click on this.

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