The Dead Are Confused
The voices of the dead spoke
They are the voices of my ancestors
In my dreams, they lived in the same house
as my grandparents.
I my dreams, my mother-in-law discovered
where they were buried.
It was not, as we all believe, in the cemetery.
They were not entombed.
They were not embalmed.
They were not put into caskets.
They were buried out back by the clothesline.
My grandmother’s mother, her whole line…
Knowing they were all around me, and had been
for my entire childhood, gave me a sense of belonging
that I had never before experienced.
Ancient kings and queens, whose empires fell.
Their chandeliers had to be sold off.
Their castles transported from medieval Spain
to richer European countries, on rickety platform
flatbeds pulled by donkey across the Pyrenees.
In my dreams, my mother-in-law found them.
In my dreams, she spoke with them.
In my dreams, she told them she had seen South America,
and that it was beautiful. This made them happy.
I woke up with these stories in my head.
I woke up with their voices echoing.
I woke up to hear them demanding I write this down.
I tell them, “But I’m Italian, not Spanish.”
They were adamant, and it is not a good idea
to argue with the spirits of the dead.
I don’t mind them, the dead, I said in my dreams,
I just don’t want to see them decayed.
I think speaking to the living confuses them.
They’re not used to being heard.