Carolyn Zaikowski: What the Dead Dream

Spring '11 TOC

A beautiful woman asks me, what do the dead dream? I'm not sure if I have an answer. They dream of life, I tell her. She says that's too vague. She really wants to know. Fine, I say. They dream of fields and forests filled with fast and slow things. They dream of ambulatory beings who're so complete they don't have shadows. They dream of caverns, of canyons, of cracks. And then they dream of the megaliths that dictate subconscious architectural problems, like a priest from a pulpit, holding prayers written on paper. Then come the displaced shadows, shadows in the shape of men which loom over foggy beams and holes of light. The dead dream of lots and lots of holes. She wasn't satisfied. I told her, I really don't have many answers, I'm just a child. I think the dead dream of death, of bombs and accidents that lead to deep sadness. I think they dead dream of pumpkins and root vegetables, potatoes, yams, yucca. Maybe they dream of plantains, of fruits with hidden seeds. They do not know they are dead they just believe they are dreaming.

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