dominican superstitions :: elizabeth acevedo

For sleeping: Don’t fall asleep with your knees up
or you’ll invite a ghost to mount you.

For ghosts: Never ask them what they want. That’s
some American shit.

For ghosts that won’t leave: Use frankincense.
Conduct a rosary circle. Lead them to a tree that guards gold.

For nightmares: Upon waking speak your dreams into the air—
the witnessing daylight will prevent them from coming true.

For nightmares in which teeth shatter like crashing dinner plates:
Someone you love has died. The teeth always know.

For menstrual periods: Don’t touch any child not your own
and don’t wash your hair until you’ve bled for five days.

For the evil eye: Cross yourself and stay away from folks
who would give a compliment but not follow it with a blessing.

For reading or eating: Don’t do both at the same time.

For kitchens: Open an oven or open a refrigerator but heat and cold air
should never mix in the same body.

For men: Feed them well and feed them often, the fatter the man
the more likely he’s too heavy to leave.

For cheating: Watch out if you skip a hoop while fastening your belt—
one time too many means someone else has been minding your man.

For superstitions: Treat them all like salt, scatter them before you leave
let them cling to the soles of your feet.