Everything Lies in All Directions
by Hua Xi
Death is the same in both directions.
It wants to go somewhere. It wants to come back.
Once I came back through a grass. Purple coneflowers
floated there, attracting bees. The whole field was humming.
Once I came back through the dead. This roughly translates
to something my mother lived through in Chinese.
My mother said, “I don’t read. It’s too tiring.”
It’s true–people who wrote things
lied to her. Once I came back through a poem.
Time refused to pass there, and loneliness
drifted down past my window like snow.
Alone, I did not move. Worlds changed around me.
Everything beautiful lay both forwards and backwards.
Everything translated into butterflies, which billowed
into a breath of tall summer. They blew out of the past
and into the future. Was it yours or was it mine?
Then, I was a child. Once, my mother was.
This is how you learn that nothing ends
unless it has to.