To ghost is to stay.


grieving gets its discipline done,
that’s who’s not gone’s abiding
rehearsal—biding’s ghost shit,
right? supernatch: cabinets,
corridors, doors soon rapped at;
chill heavy in grim, dim scenes;
bleak dispatches bleed through
plaster, baleful, late-authored.
and by and by the passed thing
what’s fitted stiffly—pallid,
mad tragic—in night’s cut,
fixed to get to what’s bound him
thus. wailing’s a murmur first,
louder, now, as an argument.

Douglas Kearney is the author of nine books, including the upcoming Imagine I Been Science Fiction Always, and teaches at the University of Minnesota. In 2023, Kearney received the Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation.
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