Ghosts and Fashion
Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,
the ghost must still consider fashion—
must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to “appear” in public.
Some traditional specters favor
the simple shroud—
a toga of ectoplasm
swirling around them.
While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.
Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly—
or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.
Copyright © 2015 by Elaine Equi. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 6, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
“Call me superficial, but if anyone tells me they’ve seen a ghost (or an angel or an alien), my first question is, “What were they wearing?” For the record, I’m quite sure I have seen a ghost—my grandfather after he passed away. He was wearing his usual work clothes, a short-sleeved shirt with baggy grey pants. I’m surprised he wasn’t smoking his customary cigar.”