SHAKESPEARE’S GHOST – Kathryn Paulsen

Ghosts walk, and there are witnesses.
Dead men live to tell their tales.
We, to hear and wonder, keep the watch,
and dream of vengeance, execute the play.
 
Let love go, she will not stay thee
from thy god-invited way. Death calls
for death. A little company is all
that makes release from this life bearable.
 
Murmurs ‘round night-fires, tossing off stars,
caress of moon-breast under her clouds, a fair
eclipse or comet to enjoy, coy lips of lightning—
whispering words thou’st never heard alive.
 
Yet still you live among us,
along with him who made you
who hears the sighs, the cries, the cheers
of crowd after crowd after crowd
on night after night after night,
  dreaming forever,
in his tempest-tossed seas.


Kathryn Paulsen writes poetry, prose, plays, and screenplays. Her work has appeared in publications from Canada to Ireland to Australia, including The New York Times, The Stinging Fly, Humber Literary Review, Scum, Spillway, Craft, Isthmus, Big Fiction, and the London Reader, and she’s received residence grants at Yaddo, MacDowell, and other retreats. She lives in New York City but, having grown up in a military family, has roots in many places. The summer after her freshman year in college, she worked as an assistant to the librarian of the Altus (Oklahoma) Air Force Base Library, where she first made the acquaintance of James Bond, thanks to a recommendation by one of the patrons

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