the language of grief
is not exclusively human.
A wolf carries off our goose
by his gaunt neck in the night.
His partner wanders the perimeter
of our fields for six days
until her honking grows hoarse.
But it is the human:
so much of what we are
is what arrests us. Sudden rain.
The smell of burnt leaves
billowing from the underbrush.
A splinter from the porch
you spent months building with Dad.
Your hand tracing the same stain
on his coffin lid. Years get carried off
as you learn new words
which permit you to see
then prevent you from unseeing
your self, what the burning leaves.
GLENN STOWELL is the translator and editor of a volume of contemporary Chinese poetry, You Jump to Another Dream (Vagabond Press, 2012). Most recently, his translations have appeared in Poetry East/West, named one of China’s top ten literary journals by the Hainan Joint Cultural Network. His poetry has recently appeared in The Tulane Review. He works at an investment bank in New York City in a group charged with monitoring and mitigating the firm’s systemic risk.