Some ghosts, low on energy,
emit a small flicker,
the click of a lighter
that sparks but doesn't fire.
Others, a bit larger,
can drift from the end
of a lighted cigarette
or hitch-hike on the tailpipe of a car.
Sometimes the fields of things break loose,
turn ghostly on us.
Still, the size of ghosts is not proportional
to the space they occupied
in a previous existence:
some ants drag around spirits
the size of houses.
One specter rises from the campfire
and dances on the tips of the flames,
a ballerina trying on red slippers
in a hopeless search for the perfect fit.
Her story, if you draw close enough to listen,
is sadder than anything in Hans Andersen.
It always brings red tears to the eyes.
Since energy is never lost, only converted,
do the big ghosts eventually swallow the little?
Perhaps, enlarged to the size of her spirit,
the little match girl
is matchless in another other place.
This is no joke —
ghosts are real —
as real as economics.
I saw one under a microscope.
The biologist said "amoeba" and it vanished
as if a counter-spell had been cast.