On nice afternoons she’d sit outside
and we’d talk from one porch to the other.
She’d tell me about her hydrangeas,
her grandchildren, her dog,
and how the dead follow her
in carts and on horseback
They cannot walk, she’d say,
they are but sticky pieces of themselves
that curve limbs against the heat of the living,
clinging like wet leaves to rags.
The ones she left behind were close,
she’d say, her brothers hang on her shoulders
and her sisters coil around her feet.
Once, for a moment, I thought I saw them,
huddled around her limbs like frightened birds,
but it was only her skirt
heaving in the wind.
One morning, after making toast,
her son stood at the table
and she screamed
and her eyes turned black
because this man in the kitchen was her father,
a dead man walking. She screamed
and cursed them for letting in demons.
They bolted the door.
That night she said she could not see,
she said now that it is dark, they come in twos.
She cried they press, they press.
The dead ride fast. As do the living.
Bio note: Anna Sarigianis is in the process of changing her major at the University of Delaware. She is one of the founding editors of the new online journal Kenning.
Curated by Devon Miller-Duggan