The 2River View 25.1 (Fall 2020)

Ben Sloan

How Ghosts Walk

During the day they live in cracks and crevices, coming out at night like cockroaches.
They are detached and sad. No one has ever seen a cluster of laughing ghosts.
Looking like luminous person-sized dust bunnies with faces, some pass hurriedly down
the hall while others, in a seeming panic, come right up to us. It is too late for them, they
are here to warn us of something, but we cannot make out what they are saying since
they mumble their words. Faintly aglow like one of Thomas Edison’s earlier but
encouraging because successful experiments, breezing along handily up and down
staircases, edges blurred, they never swing their arms and legs.

Cloudy With a Few Passing Coconuts

A man walks around the neighborhood carrying a bag of golf clubs over his shoulder
wherever he goes even though there is no golf course anywhere near here. Another
person in the neighborhood wearing an over-sized cowboy hat and trailing an aging
hound dog always says “Howdy!” to me when I meet him. I live in Virginia. The training
wheels on a bike a little girl rides back and forth in front of my house all afternoon
reminds me of how when I leave work for lunch, I always see sitting on the corner on a
suitcase a guy playing the spoons.

Ben Sloan has an MFA from Brooklyn College and a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center. He teaches at Piedmont Virginia Community College and the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. Recent poems are in the Chestnut Review, Natural Bridge, and Third Wednesday.

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