By Victoria Chang

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