• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
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for so long
I was afraid of ghosts
even saying the word
sent me running inside
sick and terrified

now the ghost is in the bath
shaving her skinny legs
her ghost-face clear and rubbed
with myrtle soap
she will suck dick in a tram car
she will rip the spines of books
she will open packets of coffee with her teeth

nothing that is real is bad
the bad ghosts are the ones that don’t exist
hovering round tv sets and fairgrounds and at dusk
sinking the last desperate flicks of sun into the black ground

this real ghost has a hollow golden mouth
fatted with foam and glass
pinpricked moon cusp teeth
wide jellied-eel eyeballs
pink sandals and a blue silk dressing gown

in the kitchen are the ghost’s dirty plates
her grey ceramic cooking pots
her glinting mirrors and jars of gone off tapenade
her cups full of green effluvia
her lemon rinds
which she rubs into stiff peach gums



she cooks for me like a corpse cousin
mixing galangal or wild garlic
putting violets in small tea glasses
setting down plates of dried anchovies or pears poached in wine

she strokes me with small soft oily hands
affectionate and distracted
a strange devastating dancer limbs lifting in the wind

the ghost refuses die properly
she stays down on earth and has sex with people
with whales and goats with the redhead next door
with the soft handsome janitor
with the girl from the Portuguese restaurant with scratched arms
with the student of political economy sunglasses on throughout
she calls them all ‘little daddy’ in her clinky ghost voice
getting them to tie her up even though she walks through walls   trailing her swift wet hair

the ghost says she won’t go up there unless she knows what she’s getting
because who can rely on a white god with a holy dick
hell         no

when things get beautiful enough here on earth
then things will get beautiful enough in heaven

tables on balconies with the slanting light of
Cusco or Assisi
no one crying  no one in despair
each house with a garden on the roof
that’s fat with peonies
each plate wet and full with chilli crab or durian
each glass thick with pink gin or pale beers or spring water



she will drag and retch
fingers in the messy earth
she will flail and resist
kicking the door shut

she will wait
until she feels confident that there will be
the same lemons
the same constellations
the same green tableware  
the same unspecific longing
the same birds glinting on tin roofs
the same wet gooey mouths
the same sandlewood and pine
the same desperate noises
the same smells of tender damp
in the next place

that there are here