Grief—as I knew it, died many times. It
died trying to reunite with other lesser
deaths. Each morning I lay out my
children’s clothing to cover their grief.
The grief remains but is changed by
what it is covered with. A picture of
oblivion is not the same as oblivion.
My grief is not the same as my pain. My
mother was a mathematician so I tried
to calculate my grief. My father was an
engineer so I tried to build a box around
my grief, along with a small wooden
bed that grief could lie down on. The
texts kept interrupting my grief, forcing
me to speak about nothing. If you cut
out a rectangle of a perfectly blue sky,
no clouds, no wind, no birds, frame it
with a blue frame, place it faceup on
the floor of an empty museum with an
open atrium to the sky, that is grief.
Victoria Chang, “Grief” from Obit. Copyright © 2020 by Victoria Chang. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. See coppercanyonpress.org