What are a spirit’s ears made of?
What else can hear?
The ghostly ear may be made of vapor and mist
Or forms its drums and cochlears
From breath, from wind, from sea foam
From fog – the chambers gather together
Into intricate misty conch shells of hearing
Designed, perhaps, especially for hearing
Troubling descriptions of hell.
Whatever word might be spoken
(From lips gathered together from starstuff and wind)
It vibrates at some frequency that is destructive to the delicate human ear.
Its little strands of hearing
Might well stand on end like the quills of a porcupine
And then snap off like pine needles from a tree.
Do the Infernal Powers That Be
Provide an orientation to life in the afterlife?
Are the spirits put onto folding chairs
Given a packet and a lecture by a man
With a laser pointer – and warned
Not to speak of their torments.
Are they shown pictures of human ears
Bleeding post description? Diagrams of
What happens to the drum (Swelling, rising, Infernal explosion.)
Hell must be run by bureaucrats in dull gray suits
Who keep the ghosts on schedule and in line.
It’s interesting that the reason Hamlet Sr. doesn’t
Tell his son what his after life is like is NOT
That he doesn’t want to freeze his son’s young blood
But because he’s forbidden to do it.