Cruel, Not Unusual


Then suffering continues. By its light, the juices appear more appetizing. A
personalized folktale with an ambiguous hero. The angelic green of its hidden landscape
opens like a folded hat.
It doesn’t actually frame the clouds, but a witness to the event might say, “I am
fabulously charmed. I am a trust, like a relic, passed down, engulfed in antiquarian
indulgences, trapped in sentimental notions of propriety. And for all these reasons, this
life appeals to me.”
I have been given a life sentence. I witness the world and the world enters me. I am
incapable of remaining objective unless objectivity is a result of taking all sides instead of
Perhaps you remember when the night was thick with intention but not as thick as
we were, a result, you concluded, not unlike that of the yellow flame in a caged bird
singing a song from ancient China, where the darkness seems silky and dangerous and
always lasts all the way to morning.
And if suffering were spoken directly into my body, would the autumn frost and
the howling wind there change their plans to visit the drought-stricken Taiga? Would the
contrary movement on the surface of one of its ponds, created by some fat brown duck
swimming against the current, refuse to blend with the innocent brown water?
Is it enough that the gray chimney still parting the horizon is no longer coughing up
human ash?
Eventually I noticed the stones were digging into my back. I was alive. I didn’t
remember all of what had happened, but it was the most comfortable bed I could

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.