Poem of the Week: "Ghosts and Fashion" by Elaine Equi

October 26, 2020 - Staff

Figure covered in white sheet wearing sunglasses, standing in front of a tan fabric backgroundCenter for Poetry intern Jayla Harris-Hardy chose this week's poem, and said this about her selection: "I just feel like we’ve all become ghosts in our homes, but now we get to dress up for Halloween and pretend we’re going out." We hope you find the right attire for your Halloween celebration this week, however it materializes.




Ghosts and Fashion

Elaine Equi



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

worn Isadora-Duncan-style

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. Retrieved 10/25/20 from https://poets.org/poem/ghosts-and-fashion