Three of Swords

Digging Logistics
by Lucy Zhang | March 7, 2020

when someone close to you dies, you dig the grave,
a several month endeavour where you sort through
spatial logistics, environmental logistics / you’re
already burying a dead person, there’s no need to
kill the surrounding plants as you fracture rock and
chainsaw through roots, but there are so many layers
of earth to go that maybe you just give up on
separating the micro ecosystems defined by varying
water absorption capacities, light exposure, bacteria,
fungi / you just dig and dig / it’s a better workout
than shoveling snow when flurries fall onto your
shovel and you’re excavating double the weight, but
when you reach the bottom where your feet feel
coolest, you pat yourself on the back for remembering
to place wood boards across the open grave so water
won’t pool at the bottom / all that’s left to do is
cry at the funeral, watch the casket get lowered, shovel
back those piles of dirt until you see only flat ground.

Lucy Zhang (she/her) is a writer masquerading around as a software engineer. She writes and watches anime from a poorly lit apartment in California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including MoonPark Review, The Rumpus, and Scoundrel Time.