Tiny Ghost Bundle
by Bridget Clawson
published in Hobo Camp Review, Winter Issue # 33 -- Featuring a poetry tribute
to Tom Petty
Do you remember the Heartbreaker concert in 1990? It is always with me since you died. Today I arrived at the coroner’s office to collect your death certificate. I told the clerk your name – such a painful sound, my beloved. She asked me if I heard the news that Tom Petty just died, and she wept. Other clerks were discussing a tiny ghost bundle named Baby Sullivan. They mocked the mercurial coroner for storing it in his office temporarily due to lack of space; first clerk shouted shut the fuck up and dabbed her bleeding eyes with her white cuff. I wanted you there, to sing to them Sleep tight baby. We’re alright for now. Outside, a horizontal hail-and-wind storm whipped me about, bent me over and blew your certificate into the Pacific. An angel-winged gingko tree sprung out of the earth and landed onto the courthouse playground - scattering pieces of nested hairless robins. Sleep tight baby. Are you trapped between extreme bravery and atrocities in an afterworld? There blows my very own soul - a faint and murdered blotch of black smoking soul dancing with the ghost of Baby Sullivan to incantations of your limbo. I remember you said Petty was looking my way and we both believed it and screamed to the planets. I am running now to chase after your death papers…for your murmurings, dreams, cold slab facts, your skeletal parchment cadaver: Sleep tight, baby. We’re alright for now.