the first burial

September 14, 2010 § 1 Comment

a kind of patagonian sparrow. corn-colored feathers on its breast–the rest of its body black, its head clawed up. i’d heard thumping at the door last night, 2:30 AM, opened and saw muchacha playing with it. i’d forgotten.

now layla saying ‘look this pa’ro, look this bird.’

‘ah, muchacha killed it last night. pobre.’

‘muy lindo este pajaro.’

‘it is beautiful isn’t it? should we bury it? should i get the shovel?’


‘everything goes back to the ground you know.’


‘come with me let’s get the shovel.’

behind the house mami is putting clothes on the line.

‘papi esta ‘garando el shovel. muchacha killed a paj’ro.’

we go back around. i scoop it up slowly. the sun is on the wall, the feathers, the dry blade.

‘where should we put it? should we put it in the back where the flowers are?’

she follows me back there.

i lay the bird down by where all last year’s apples have fallen.

‘see it all goes back in the ground. just like we’ve planted everything. it all comes from the ground and goes back into the ground. ‘

i dig the hole.

‘before we put it back in, do you want to say goodbye?’


i don’t really have a name for what i believe in.

but the way she said this had it right there.


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