It was Penny’s idea, both the séances
and the location: my dad’s basement bathroom shower —
It was the only place that could be made completely dark on a late-summer afternoon.
The first time it was Vladimir Lenin,
because we had a mimeographed school worksheet with his likeness, in purple ink.
We didn’t have much luck, although the flame of the orange citronella candle
wavered and Penny insisted she felt Lenin’s presence.
The second spirit we tried to contact was freshly dead, but with secrets:
Mary Jo Kopechne.
We asked her if Teddy killed her because she carried his child.
Penny was certain Mary Jo came to us that afternoon,
and proved it by extracting a curly blonde hair from the drain.