I'll Come Back as a Ghost in a Hat

Jayme Ringleb

I’m not sure why the hat.

Ghosts and hats
both seem sufficiently

bold, maybe.




I should also defend wanting
to be a ghost, shouldn’t I,
seeing as coming back is in and of itself

insufficient grounds.




I understood the world mostly through

others. Like with atlases. Like with

men I loved. Bulgarians from Arkansas.

Wisconsinites from Manitoba.




If you were like me, you loved

in recovery
of everything
you couldn’t love.



Let’s please come back
as ghosts in business jackets

and hats.

Tiny, purple hats.




Rosemary sprigs in our lapels
and cordials, we could wander

staircases of some Sophia complex

we never knew in Portland.




Wobbling out from unlit corners

like pale catfish, we’ll
come to the water’s surface only

to eat or beg to.




Silly ghosts, a Bulgarian
elder will pause to sometimes
ask, why come back at all, if what you were

embarrassed you so?

(The Hong Kong Review, Vol. I, No. 3)


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