“We Are The Dead” by David Bowie
Nine years ago, I lived in a haunted house in England. I didn’t know then, but Linley House is notorious for ghosts, especially one who drags heavy footsteps up to the attic door.
I lived in the attic room. The first night I awoke to my roommate’s bloodcurdling shrieks. Asleep and screaming, she walked to the door, clawed at it, then stalked back to bed. In the morning she recalled seeing strangers emerge from a hole in the wall.
For months, panic mounted amongst the house’s American guests. We thought we saw things. One envisioned me crawling around with bloody gauze taped over my eyes.
Each night I laid frozen, listening to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs through headphones: Because of all we’ve seen, because of all we’ve said, we are the dead.
This song instantly brings me back to the dark. Ice-water veins. Terror. The feeling of being alive.
Rebecca Wadlinger’s poetry can be found in recent issues of Tin House, Ploughshares, Paper Darts, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Norwegian poet Gro Dahle’s A Hundred Thousand Hours (Ugly Duckling Presse 2014). A graduate of the University of Houston and the Michener Center for Writers, she now lives in Portland, OR.