Dear unseen, constantly unsated ones,
I’ve fed you on your feast days, remembered
to bring you water or wine in clear shot
glasses. For you the first pared slices of fruit,
the first hot mounds of rice scooped into doll-
sized bowls before the steam even hit
our faces. Sizzling oil and fat, sugar, sage,
citrus. Cake and cream, batter and bread,
even the crust at the bottom of the pan.
Should I have offered you sweetbreads:
say, my own liver, my lungs, my heart?
I’d pictured the afterlife as a kind of zen
garden: a long corridor lined with suites
in a 24/7 spa where souls washed clean
and free from grasping desire now
wander in a state of fragrant, aimless bliss.
So why have I heard you snarling in the dark,
hatching ruinous plots and making mine-
fields of our backyards? There are new
holes there today that can’t have been made
by the lone squirrel disinterring its breakfast,
cleaning off the dirt with its teeth.
—Luisa A. Igloria
03 09 2011
In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- “Findings”: the missing Morning Porch poems
- Two more Morning Porch poems from Luisa Igloria and a comment on free culture
- What Leaf
- With winter’s gift of unimpeded sight,
- Aubade, with Feathers
- Heart and Shadow
- “The sudden spasm of wings”
- “Before sight, sound—“
- Four Morning Porch poems
- “Up and down the street, the neighbors…”
- Memento Mori
- “The streets are lined with garbage bins…”
- “Soon the old year must join…”
- Speaking of __
- “For the sun’s approximate blaze…”
- Despedida de Soltera
- “Paired or unpaired, all in the world…”
- Private: Quicksilver
- Private: Preludium
- [poem temporarily hidden by author]
- Landscape, With Darkness and Hare
- Letter to the Hungry Ghosts
- Ghazal of the Dark Water
- Landscape, with Cardinal and Earring
- One Day, That Room
- Landscape, with Small Flakes and Far-off Bandoneón
- Private: Matins
- Landscape, with an End and a Beginning
- Dim Sun, Dim Sum
- Vanishing Point
- Ghazal of the Open Water
- Monday Landscape, with Clocks Borrowed from Dali
- “Last night’s wet snow…”
- Landscape, with Water Fountain, Small Clouds and Endless Lyric
- What She Wants
- Landscape, with Mockingbird and Ripe Figs
- Letter to Arrythmia
- Love Poem with Skull and Candy Valentines
- Private: To Flower
- Landscape, with Fake Butterflies and Sick Child
- Letter to Affliction
- Letter to Levity
- Private: Little Girding Song
- Letter to Rubbermaid and Tupperware
- Letter to Spam
- Little Waking Song
5 Replies to “Letter to the Hungry Ghosts”
Oh, God, this made me laugh and laugh! Marvelous. The Spafterlife. No, we’re not going to fob the hungry ghosts off with a bit of rice and fruit, that’s for sure.
The Spafterlife- ha! I can totally see a new series. :P :) Glad you liked it, Dale. Hope I can come to your neck of the woods and get in a massage appointment in *this* lifetime.
I would be so honored!
Oh, this is good in so many ways. I wish I could get it translated into Korean, to share with my sisters–though I’m afraid so much would be lost in the translation.
Seon Joon, do you do any kind of translation work yourself? That would be cool.