Letter to the Hungry Ghosts

This entry is part 84 of 95 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2010-11


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.

Series Navigation← Petition for Something Other than WhiteImpression, with Rain and Buds →


5 Replies to “Letter to the Hungry Ghosts”

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

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