I’m in the dream again: not the one I had while awake in the catacombs of St. Callixtus in Rome. Where the darkness was so impenetrable that it began to echo. To look like the mixture of colors that burst when you rub your eyes too hard for too long. Like the neuron rupture before death. To shape and morph and become liquid. Where the darkness cobbled itself into a physical form.
Not the dream where I kept seeing flits of my mother out of the corner of my eye. Behind every street corner. Every turn. Every tunnel. Reflected in the casts of the bodies in Pompeii. Mirrored in the waves of the Trevi Fountain.
I’m in the dream where the soil churned from the bottom to the top. where the hand outstretched from the grave. where my grandfather clawed his way out and returned to my grandmother﹘sopping wet, covered in thick mud, socks torn, skin sallow and jaundiced, spitting out the wire the embalmers put in his mouth, melting makeup, and ravenously hungry. And it’s been so long since he was hungry.
“He came back to me, Taylor,” my grandmother tells me. “He came back to me.” I don’t have the heart to tell her that he’s undead. I’m physically unable to spit out those words. And it’s a dream and it’s a dream and it’s a dream, but it just fits so perfectly. That he would come back to her. That death would not be a barrier. I can’t explain it. It just is. My grandmother is a shell without him. The body that’s missing the limb. The body that keeps score.
Mister Maxwell reads the paper Of the party that he pays for And with subtle nods agrees With each printed word he reads He knows all the phrases to say About the topics of the day And he's politically engaged (Marching in manifestations) And appropriately enraged (By violence and discrimination) To be a hero of society: A once-born self that's ceased to be, A real symptom of democracy! A truly enlightened zombie!
Decaying parts Live zombies Ungodly bodies made holy again Are you still alive?
Though I know you to be ashes stashed in the broom closet, how is it your skin still walks this Earth? Unattached to me, but grasping onto a stranger. If they wish to pull the heart from their chest, will you die again?
This imposter wears your skin as a sweater. If he sins will you too, be a born again sinner?