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The kind of ghosts that live in kitchens

speak in a mother tongue of thistle and thick jellies. They lounge for hours, sometimes whole days, chewing sweetgum, cracking walnuts. They watch cats with yellow toothed envy, study their posture to the smallest detail. These ghosts are ordinary. The type you wouldn’t mind running into at night, finding in a pantry spilling brined noise. They chant in praise of ripe pear. You can feel the rhythm at the front of your throat. These amateur dead make phone calls to family who have already forgotten how their delight sounded. In the morning, their fathers discover piles of browned fruit, several crickets in the sink.






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David Greenspan is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned an MFA from UMass Amherst, where he won a Best New Poets prize and served as an editor for Slope Editions. His poems have appeared, or will soon, in places like DIAGRAM, Protean Magazine, Prelude, Soundings East, Superstition Review, and others.