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The Hong Kong Review is an international journal of literature, culture and the arts. It is based in Hong Kong and Tianjin.

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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)