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I am a Dog

Friday, May 14, 2010
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I am a dog
A Tibetan dog from Kyegu
A few days before the earth shook
And the mountains rumbled —
sky darkened
storm thundered
dust rained.
In the night when all were asleep
I saw them on the march
Deities, gods, goddesses, angels and the spirits
They quietly left our town
Tails firmly tucked between their legs.

I am a dog
A Tibetan dog from Kyegu
In the night I howled
Peals of warnings
Up the streets
Down the streets
In Gesar Square —
And that Chinese policeman
Chased me with his baton
‘Bi Zui! Si Gou!’ (1) he shouted.
I wasn’t scared of his black baton
I was terrified of the earth
She was angry
They drill into her bowels
With iron hands and chemical dusts.

I am a dog
A Tibetan dog from Kyegu
The day before the earth shook
I howled the loudest
Up the streets
Down the streets
My throat went dry —
That Chinese policeman saw me again
‘Wo Be Le Ni!’ (2) he shouted
And reached for his gun.
I didn’t want to die
So I fled up into the barren hills —
There were no foxes, rabbits, deer, marmots
Only vultures hovered on the cliffs.

I am a dog
A Tibetan dog from Kyegu
After the dust settled down
I came back home
To the streets
To Gesar Square
To rubbles and sobs—
Kyegu is full of red flags now
A Chinese soldier with an oxygen bag
Gave me a bowl of rice pudding
I sniffed at the repulsive sludge
And howled loud and clear.

‘I am a dog
A Tibetan dog from Kyegu
I love yak bones.’

(1) ‘Shut up! Stray dog!’
(2) ‘I will shoot you!’

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