like every good yellow catholic woman, i plan my funeral 60 years in advance
by Erin Kong
and on the eighth day, my grandfather’s church organ fell down heaven’s
winding staircase & became a persimmon tree the size of my fist. knots &
fingers wormed their way up my neck past my jaw into my ears & laid
foundation there. pink matter did not spill, but knew to relinquish space
lay flat make room for the language it did not know existed yet.
everything is fused together & the earth boils slow.
the men i’ve held brush their incisors against my temple & stroke the
branches dangling from my head’s emptied cartilage. ask me to rub two
sticks together & make something they can put out with the water
sloshing around in my chest. just to say they saved me from myself. they
say thank god thank god thank god you are at peace now because of me.
they stumble, lost. i know where they are going but they do not ask they
demand to build a map from the dark of my hair since i am not using it
anyway. they tug tug tug at my scalp thinking they are resourceful & men
of the wild / manifest destiny / bible.
instead: mangled shoots sprout from my throat, winding & tangling
against the helpless/pathetic flail/gnaw of my gum. prayer is useless
when your mouth is full of mouths full of matches.
the root of the problem is this: even if i burned it all to the ground, holy
men would scrape the ashflaked bruise of my flesh into a goldenjeweled
chalice & mark sweating pink foreheads with crosses once a year. my
violence shrieking, trembling hands suddenly shrinking. my
what-they-call flesh, adornment for men who wish to do better & pray to
a benevolent God that looks exactly like them. the God that looks like me
is somewhere buried in the ground.
if i am dirt, let me be dirt & promise me i will grow nothing. let the place
i lie birth no flowers, no weeds, no shrooms or seeds or gardens or beast
nests let this be somewhere i die without being useful/ used. let the
morning rain soak my exhaling bones, let it connect what’s left of me to a