When you want something so bad it hurts," he said quietly, "and you bury it, bury it so deep that you convince yourself it no longer matters . . . and someone tells you you can have it, it's terrifying. What if you take the chance and you're wrong? What if you let yourself feel the loss and it's this huge pain and you can't put it back in the box?
People idealise their animals, and at the same time they patronisingly overlook a dog's natural life - biting fleas, burying bones, rolling in garbage, barking up an empty tree all night... But what do they do themselves? Bury stuff that will rot in secret and then dig it up and bury it again and rant and rave under empty trees!
The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead. It is over. It is gone. It is done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!
Shannon L. Alder
I WALK IN / I SEE YOU / I WATCH YOU / I SCAN YOU / I WAIT FOR YOU / I TICKLE YOU / I TEASE YOU / I SEARCH YOU / I BREATHE YOU / I TALK / I SMILE / I TOUCH YOUR HAIR / YOU ARE THE ONE / YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DID THIS TO ME / YOU ARE MY OWN / I SHOW YOU / I FEEL YOU / I ASK YOU / I DON'T ASK / I DON'T WAIT / I WON'T ASK YOU / I CAN'T TELL YOU / I LIE / I AM CRYING HARD / THERE WAS BLOOD / NO ONE TOLD ME / NO ONE KNEW / MY MOTHER KNOWS / I FORGET YOUR NAME / I DON'T THINK / I BURY MY HEAD / I BURY YOUR HEAD / I BURY YOU / MY FEVER / MY SKIN / I CANNOT BREATHE / I CANNOT EAT / I CANNOT WALK / I AM LOSING TIME / I AM LOSING TIME / I AM LOSING GROUND / I CANNOT STAND IT / I CRY / I CRY OUT / I BITE / I BITE YOUR LIP / I BREATHE YOUR BREATH / I PULSE / I PRAY / I PRAY ALOUD / I SMELL YOU ON MY SKIN / I SAY THE WORD / I SAY YOUR NAME / I COVER YOU / I SHELTER YOU / I RUN FROM YOU / I SLEEP BESIDE YOU / I SMELL YOU ON MY CLOTHES / I KEEP YOUR CLOTHES
Burial Cathy Linh Che There is the rain, the odor of fresh earth, and you, grandmother, in a box. I bury the distance, 22 years of not meeting you and your ruined hands. I bury your hair, parted to the side and pinned back, your e¡o de i of crushed velvet, the implements you used to farm, the stroke which claimed your right side, the land you gave up when you remarried, your grief over my grandfather's passing, the war that evaporated your father's leg, the war that crushed your bowls, your childhood home razed by the rutted wheels of an American tank- I bury it all. You learned that nothing stays in this life, not your daughter, not your uncle, not even the dignity of leaving this world with your pants on. The bed sores on your hips were clean and sunken in. What did I know, child who heard you speak only once, and when we met for the first time, tears watered the side of your face. I held your hand and said, be ngoai, be ngoai Ten years later, I returned. It rained on your gravesite. In the picture above your tomb, you looked just like my mother. We lit the joss sticks and planted them. We kept the encroaching grass at bay.
Cathy Linh Che
The Story of the Woman with Three Brothers" A woman once had three brothers. They all had wives, but she was not married. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not offer a dowry. How unhappy she was! What could she do? She's so miserable, she goes to the garden and hangs herself from a tree. The eldest brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see her. The second brother walks through the garden and pretends not to see that she's dead. The third brother sees her, bursts into tears, and takes her body inside. A woman once had three brothers. When she died, no one wanted to care for her body. Though she had been virtuous and hardworking, her brothers would not serve her. How cruel this was! What would happen? She is ignored in death as in life, until her body begins to stink. The eldest brother gives one piece of cloth to cover her body. The second brother gives two pieces of cloth. The third brother wraps her in as many clothes as possible so she'll be warm in the afterworld. A woman once had three brothers. Now dressed for her future as a spirit, her brothers won't spend any money on a coffin. Though she was virtuous and hardworking, her brothers are stingy. How unfair this was! Would she ever find rest? All alone, all alone, she plans her haunting days. The eldest brother says, "We don't need to bury her in a box. She is fine the way she is." The second brother says, "We could use that old box in the shed." The third brother says, "This is all the money I have. I will go and buy her a coffin." A woman once had three brothers. They have come so far, but what will happen to Sister now? Elder brother- mean in spirit; Second brother- cold in heart; but in Third brother love may come through. Elder brother says, "Let's bury her here by the water buffalo road." (meaning she would be trampled for all eternity) Second brother says, "Let's bury her here under the bridge." (meaning she would wash away) But third brother - good in heart, filial in all ways - says, "We will bury her behind the house so everyone will remember her.