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Ghost Story

If you are a ghost, you will see yourself floating in this piece of paper. Which is invisible. Which is not really invisible but someone’s idea of invisible, or rather, visible, and not really paper but a kind of placebo for paper, a pretend home for a virtual ghost story, which is not really a ghost story but a story about gender in an invisible (not really) sheet of paper with eyeholes. 

And if you are a ghost, your gender is neither past nor future, and only inexplicitly present in either a virtual or an actual sense—although actual is relative, as, if you are a ghost, you know all too well. Therefore, if you are a ghost, do not worry about future incarnations, for you contain them all within you and they will be both moral and refundable if you follow your inspiration freely.

Angels will break sound barriers in your honor.

    Note: Contains a paraphrase of a line by Thich Nhat Hanh and another by Vissarion Belins



I slept with a guy with my stomach full of Boone’s Farm, tossing my so-called cookies into a sea that lapped our feet like a poodle.

I slept with a guy I asked to sleep with me at a coffee shop after an AA meeting, no strings attached, completely casual, as recommended by my pastoral counselor.

I slept with a guy on the floor of his Mount Kisco apartment during The Who (the greatest band of all time—Jack Black) in a record snowstorm.

I slept with a guy who was a vegetarian—who vociferously admired my own uneasiness around meat—but only once.

I slept with a guy, who was my best friend, when his girlfriend—her name may have been Portia—suddenly broke up with him.

I slept with a guy who was my best friend’s best friend, someone called a ladies man, but I would disagree.

I slept with a guy who was in love with a woman and also another man at the same time, but he didn’t seem to know this and certainly didn’t want to discuss it with the likes of me.

I slept with a guy who slept with lots of people in addition to me and was really good at it, but still.

I kind of slept with a girl before she left me for a man—a tired, if excruciating, scenario that soon lost its sting because of worldwide lesbian support for the jilted.

I slept with a girl who I thought was a guy when I first saw her at AA on St. Mark’s, then again at a now-defunct pizza parlor on 7th Avenue and 15th Street, and who later drove a black truck.

I slept with a girl who came along at a clueless time in history called “The Nineties,” and who drove a red truck.

I slept with a girl who drove a white truck.

I slept with a girl who drove a silver bug with a pink Gerber daisy on the dashboard and now we’re friends, the way some women stay around after sex, like swans.  


Maureen Seaton has authored sixteen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative, most recently Fibonacci Batman: New & Selected Poems (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013). Her awards include the Lambda Literary Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and the Pushcart Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University of Miami. See also www.maureenseaton.com.