The Pauper's Section
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at the bottom of the hill, they lie
far from the paved road.
where the wind is still and the water stagnates
where verdant rot creeps and corrodes memory
where they wait,
unseen, unremembered, untouched.

where else could we go?

stands clean, polished stone
raised soil
guarded by hired bricks and paid lions1,
fengshui2 flowing freely, delivering fortune
in Qingming3 cleansings and celebrations
the incense on the altar bought by
riches long dead;
they lived above all
and died above all.

bet it’s real nice up there.

but below the fortune runs dry
so inter the unfortunate
and give them nothing, as we
did in life.
no guardian lions or
decorative pillars to frame
just a single stepping stone
names overgrown, faded, eroded,
abused, mistreated, forgotten

why have the gods forsaken us?
why must we rot nameless?
why do they remain above even in
immortal through memory
while we toil in


for the sin of being poor.

remembrance is for the fortunate.

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