Friday, January 26, 2007

Spirit Bride

The news story is here.

She cost me sixteen hundred dollars, live
but she was worth two thousand dollars dead.
"Rich men will pay well for a spirit wife,
and you get half," the undertaker said.

He liked her, so he sent me out to buy
another girl for another grave.
I guess they'll take it with them when they die
or so they think-- that's why they scrimp and save.

Fantastic tombs are Shaanxi's only claim
(the Emperor's buried here, I'm sure you know)
to any sort of everlasting fame--
we get to keep the grave-goods when we go.

I think it must be cold, sleeping beside
a murdered girl who's your spirit bride.

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