“Plausible Sounding Names and Addresses”

by Michael Bove

Was what the ghost of Emily Dickinson provided
to the men who tried to reach her through a Ouija board
sometime in the early sixties.
One a scholar, one a poet, they were convinced
there was new work, undiscovered: scraps on envelopes
she mailed to friends from her hallowed room in Amherst.
They scribbled the words in lamplight
some dark December evening, struggling to keep up
with the planchette, jerking from line to line
in a frantic dash. At the end of the night they wrote
their letters, imploring responses, and left them
with the mail in the morning. Within weeks they saw
the letters again, stamped with spectral ink:
return to sender.