I had not heard of it
the night its title was spelt out
in tiles on the oujia board.

The question lingered on the air
like smoke from a blown-out candle,
Is there anyone there?
My thighs clenched, dreading a reply.

A pause then
before the spelling began

E – L – V – I – S
and then Presley
as if the surname was needed as full proof.

I loved Elvis –
those movies with the helicopters,
his quiffed hair, the songs,
the way the crowds went wild
while I sat, unmoving, on my settee.

So many things we could have asked
when of all the people calling on the dead that night
he chose our glass to slide across the table.

Too scared to make a sound I waited,
watched that slow movement to the letter C
before the frenzied zigzag to complete the spelling.

Which of your movies was your favourite?
Such a waste of a question.

I wanted to ask if he was happy.
And if he was
why was he in our living room?

I could never drink orange juice
from that glass again.
Each time I slid the cupboard door open
I forced myself to check
it was upside down.
Every day I wanted to smash it
to set the ghosts free.



Sue Finch’s debut collection, Magnifying Glass, was published in 2020. Her work has also appeared in a number of online magazines. She lives with her wife in North Wales. She loves the coast, peculiar things and the scent of ice-cream freezers. You can often find her on Twitter @soopoftheday