By Ollie Lewis
“When is a body not a body?”
The question sounds muffled, buried underneath the sheets I have piled in the corner of
my room, between the armoire and wall whose paint I have absentmindedly begun to
“When the body becomes dirt,”
and the sheets still stained with period blood reply,
“Do you think that ghosts are real?”
“Are you a ghost?”
And they say,
“I am your pair of sheets. You have lived a thousand lives in me and shed a million skins.
If nothing else, I am your ghost.”
And because I am human and my downfall will always be hubris, I reply,
“Tell me about myself, then, sheets. Prove to me that I am not a ghost.”
And they just reply,
And I do not know why, but I almost feel like crying.
“Why, sheets? Why can you not prove to me that I am living? I seem to be doing a horrible
job as of late”.
And they say that the only way to prove that you are alive is to feel truly alive,
And I volunteer the idea of skydiving,
But they tell me love is more the cure.
I ask them what they know about love,
And they tell me that even though they are still stained with period blood,
And we have 5 other pairs of sheets,
I choose them because of their beautiful design.
And though love is never vain,
It does recognize beauty, and latch itself to it.
And love would not be love if it did not fear being lost,
And so the blood stained sheets tell me to find my love again,
Because a man can be a ghost if he has lost himself.
But no matter how many cycles I have shed in these sheets,
I keep coming back.
My sheets tell me this.
Just between the armoire and wall whose paint is completely gone in a patch now.
They tell me that I need to love,
Before I can become real again.
And I believe them,
And my cat walks across the sheets,
Like he too needs to prove that he is living.