My life is lives pursuing life.
My lives are life in life’s pursuit.
There’s no shame or waste in living,
But for a ghost, it’s a nuisance.
For a ghost, how inconvenient,
All these bits of body working
To make more working body, more
Bits of body making bodies,
From the inscrutably minute
And hopelessly momentary
To the whole, drawn-out heft of it,
Staggering decades of it all.
Ghosts have been known to shame themselves
About being so embodied,
About having bodies at all,
Such holy ghosts shame other ghosts,
And on and on and on it goes,
So long as ghosts’ bodies allow,
So long as life fails to notice
Ghosts’ interferences can kill,
So long as ghosts stay embodied
In lives with more lives left to fail,
So long as life has not yet failed.
At that thought, a ghost could wonder
If the ghosts will ever get out
And free themselves from the bodies
That they inconvenience as well
With their unproductive hauntings—
Monks moaning in celibate cells—
Professors of philosophy
Losing sleep over thought’s meaning—
Physicists furious with stars—
Pilgrims and penitents praying
For whatever life’s bodies want
Without leaving their incense clouds—
Children lost in the glow-worm swamps.
It’s a nuisance to be haunted
And a nuisance to wait, inert,
But life will get what lives wanted,
Even if a few ghosts desert.