Holy Ghost

Ann Killough

The holy ghost being the remainder of the body of the departed god.

She thought again of television, which seemed like the site of a terrible annihilation and at the same time was always whispering from across the room like an underground river.

The holy ghost being multiple, and of a great congregation.


The holy ghost being the remainder of the evacuated body politic, the holy ghost as the aggregate body of the consumed, for example, and of their consumers. The television audience.

The holy ghost as the remainder in the form of a garment. The costume of the holy ghost, the holy ghost as the reminder of the great congregation of the virtually naked.

What it means to love the holy ghost.


She remembered the story of how they gathered in the Bible and the holy ghost came upon them as tongues of fire. The holy ghost as the actual process of consumption.

The question always being about the departed body. What is it?

Sometimes she thought in terms of a love story. How the story itself becomes the garment, and the process of its own consumption. The site of an annihilation, beloved, beloved.


Because she wanted to understand her nation. What the body was it continued to love in the form of a mob of ghostly and numberless desires.

Of a cloud of desires gathered around the site of the continual loss of something.

What is it?

Ann Killough's
work has appeared in Fence, Field, Mudfish, Poetry Ireland, Salamander, Sentence and elsewhere. Her chapbook Sinners in the Hands: Selections from the Catalog received the 2003 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize from Texas Review Press. Her Kinereth Gensler Award winning manuscript, Beloved Idea, has just been published by Alice James Books. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she is one of the coordinators of the Brookline Poetry Series as well as of the Mouthful Reading Series in Cambridge.