an ant dies, and no one mourns
a bird dies, and no one mourns if it isn’t a crested ibis
a monkey dies, and monkeys mourn
a monkey dies, and people pry open its skull
a shark dies, and another shark keeps swimming
a tiger dies, and some people mourning are mourning themselves
a person dies, and some people mourn and some people don’t
a person dies, and some people mourn and some even applaud
a generation dies, and the next generation doesn’t really mourn
a country dies, most of the time just leaving apocrypha
a country that doesn’t leave apocrypha wasn’t a real country
if it wasn’t a real country, when it dies no one mourns
no one mourns, and the wind blows in vain
rivers flow in vain, washing over rocks in vain
glistening in vain, making vain ripples
the river dies, and it’s not for man to mourn
the wind dies, and it’s not for man to mourn
the river and wind make their way to the sea, the sea as vast as in Zhuangzi
the vast sea dies, and you will have to die
the dragon king dies, and you will have to die
the moon doesn’t mourn, there’s no one on the moon
the stars don’t mourn, the stars aren’t flesh and blood

—Translated from the Chinese by Lucas Klein