Jun 5, 2012

Dirge with Cutlery and Furs

Written by Sally Wen Mao

Read by George David Clark

I’m usually very miserable, so I buy a fur coat every year.
— Daul Kim, 1989-2009

When you died, I felt like kissing
a pencil and breaking it into pieces
eating it stuffed inside a spring roll
with enough ginger to make my nose snot
and it wasn’t because I knew you or coveted
your leathers: it was because you collected
forks and read Tolstoy on the toilet
seat in Paris, because you loved guinea
pigs and smiled on the Anna Sui
runway when you weren’t supposed to,
and for that I, too, like to fork myself —
you, who buy the pants off a homeless
man and wear them, who pretend
you are a monster with your paillettes
on macramé, your face paler than the flesh
of a nashi pear. What was this wish for the hour
when no one sees her face on the spoon?
Say hi to your warmest destination: not sauna,
nor tropics, nor lovers — it was the heat source
in the furs — capybara furs, flame-retardant
furs, furs knives can’t cut, furs that trapped
oxygen, human body, and you, swimming
now, out at sea in your midnight flowers,
Angora rabbits, where the monsters
stay lovely every fall and spring.