all the houses on sesame street are haunted houses

Paul Jessup

one is for tambourine ghost dressed up in drag
wandering in carnivals and pissing in ferris wheels
two is for seven-year-older ghost who would paint my nails
and convince me i wanted to be a cheerleader
three is for grandfather ghost who taught me how to fix a flat tire
four is for father ghost and the way he left us wondering
while he lived with other families and talked of other loves
five is for mother ghost who wept in stalled cars and beat
on rubber wheels and tried not to scream but screamed anyway
six is for grandmother ghost who still chainsmokes and laughs
seven is for wife ghost who stole all the children on the street and left snow men behind
eight is for my own ghost who spent hours homeless and hungry and lost in empty cities
nine is for brother ghost and sister ghosts who haunt faraway out-of-state pine forests
ten is for mr. hooper’s ghost
who turned out the street lamps after everyone left
let’s go now, go
and bury these toy drums beneath the snow

PaulJessupphotoPaul Jessup does not exist.