There’s a word the Chinese use
the happiest word in China
It means, I’m sorry.
It means, no thanks.
It means it’s busted, it’s broke,
it don’t work, you missed the train,
it’s hooped, clapped, shot, thrashed,
the clock’s slow, the radio died —
fading away with great tenderness.
The toilet’s leaking, the shower’s farting brown
stuff and, yes, there are no more towels.
Out of adversity, out of the terror,
out of ripped fingernails and splinters,
comes the only possible celebration, comes
Your child is playing in traffic.
There’s a rabid bat in the house.
The canned peas have botulism.
It means, simply, you’re fucked!
Quien es? Quien es? said Billy the Kid
in the dark of his life, before the bullet
hurled his brain into the cold, cold earth.
It means … maybe you should have another drink before
you crawl back into the dumpster to find that lost widget.
It means watching your truck catch fire going down the highway,
and then singing all your favourite old songs as you begin
the long walk home on the loneliest road in America.
When you can find the laughter in loss,
it means you can never lose.