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a ghost's guide to making conversation

by annabeth

@girlscoutpunk on instagram

tip #1: life is the one binding constant amongst the collective ghostly existence. so, talk about life. what was yours like? it’s the perfect conversation starter.

being alive...

...i can’t remember what it’s like. 

what what’s like?

you know. being one of them. 

being alive. 

ah. i see. 

everything is so different now. 

dying’s much the same.

same as it’s always been.

plenty of new ways for it to happen, though. 

yeah, well. humans will do that to ya. very creative, they are.

you’d think they’d use what little life they have trying to elongate it, not end it. 

don’t worry. 

they do that too.

at the same time?

at the same time.

we used to be them, you know. 


i know.

i can’t remember what it’s like. 

you said that already.


were our memories better, back then? when we were alive?

think so. a lot less to remember.

things fade, after awhile.

awhile like this. 

like this? 

ghosts, you mean.

faded, just like our memories of them.

and their memories of us

a note from the artist-

"i wrote this poem as part of a collection of poems matching the theme of “ghosts.” it was an english assignment: to write at least 5 poems connected by some sort of theme. i chose the theme of ghosts because their imagery and different meanings they can hold is something that fascinates me and that i wanted to explore. this poem, specifically, was inspired by another poem in a similar conversational format. the first stanza (“tip #1”) was added after i titled the poem—i went through many different ones to try to match the tone i wanted to convey. the main body of the poem, the conversation between ghosts, is not intended to be a metaphor. i literally just wanted to write what i thought ghosts might talk about, and let the themes emerge on their own. reflectively, i see the main ideas being the ideas of what being alive, being human is. the unique perspective of beings that were once this, but no longer are, gives a glimpse into an outsider point of view on humanity. there’s also a bit about humanity’s connection to their past. the fact that the speakers have almost no characteristics is intentional—they are ghosts, they are dead, while they are the subjects, they aren’t the focus. the title i ended up settling on is a lighthearted one, because i didn’t want the tone of the poem or the fact that the speakers are dead to be interpreted as dark. instead, it’s simply making observations about how the world and its people are. "

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