The Poet and the Pig

By and | 1 November 2019

Translated by Hedgie Choi

The pig is dying. Because the poet is raising a pig they write pig-poems. The poet lays down hay for the pig and washes the pig and sleeps with the pig. The pig is nearing death so it cries sometimes in the kitchen and goes out at night and comes back at night. Even if the pig doesn’t cry its body is swollen fat and because its body is big it dreams big difficult dreams.

It is the pig’s last hour. The poet has never made a friend and has only lived with the pig. The poet feels pig-sized feelings and writes pig-sized poems. A pig is a little too big to be considered a poem, the poet fails to think.

The pig is dying. The pig and the poet go to the river bank. The poet does not know the pig’s death. But the poet knows that death is similar for everyone. Like a zipper on the back of a dress, something you can’t reach yourself but is easy for someone else, writes the poet. The pig in need of help looks up at the poet.

Help me

The poet looks at the pig who is asking for the zipper to be pulled down because it can’t breathe
and writes in the poem,
pigs have swollen bodies from birth to death

The pig is dying. Things that are swollen seem like they’re enduring everything, the poet thinks. The pig sweats. They sit on the river bank where dusk is falling and play the game they always play.

The poet throws a rock and the pig watches
Concentric rings appear on the surface of the water.
In the ring a smaller concentric ring
and inside the smaller concentric ring an even smaller concentric ring
concentric rings that are small and therefore good for belonging somewhere
one after another
They watch them get smaller and smaller
If you keep getting smaller and smaller you can safely disappear,
the poet does not write in the poem

There is nothing bigger than the pig by the river bank. The dying pig looks at the small things. The small rock and small birds and the small dew that can belong to the blade of grass because it is smaller than the blade of grass and the bugs that curl their bodies. The pig is dying. A mosquito lands on the pig’s back.
A mosquito dies a death the size of a mosquito and a pig dies a death the size of a pig, a pig dies more than a mosquito,
the poet writes in the poem.

The pig is dying. Because the poet has no friends they write only about the pig. The pig dies soon. Time goes on. But like clasped hands resting on a knee time is indifferent toward everyone, the poet and the pig think together.

They look at the pig. The poet looks at the short and cheerful tail on its honest ass and cries. The pig who is dying sets its six nipples down on the ground and collapses instead of saying it is sad. The grass pinned under the pig’s belly must be warm. The poet can write that kind of thing in a poem. The pig cannot feel the entirety of sadness but feels a part of the sadness and closes its eyes. The pig dies and the poet writes. The poet only wrote about things with bodies that do not diminish even after death.


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