God Killed My Dog
Yune Jee Bang
God killed my dog.
I told Him not to, but I guess He didn't hear.
When he died, I wondered how soon I could reasonably get another one.
I loved that dog. He was my happiness.
From whom am I to draw life now? He was the air I breathe, the water I drink —
Surely God knows this. Wasn't that dog
His gift? I am sad and confused. I didn't know
You could take a gift back. I didn't know I could survive without air and water.
But here I am living, and lonely.
What do I know of love, or living, or promises
That keep? Me, who exists in three or four dimensions?
I thought love was supposed to last forever and before.
But there is nothing remaining at either infinity.
Perhaps on the line or the brain-shaped space that is time, my boy rests
On the gyrus, and I've slipped irrevocably into the fold.
But wasn't God there when I slipped. Maybe He put His finger to my back
Maybe it was Him who nudged me along the space-time continuum,
Who folded it, just to His liking, the whole starry universe
Crumpled precisely like foil. Maybe God
Is not careless, and my dog is not dead —
Just occurring happily in his own little time-pocket, the earthly dimension
Where I used to be. Perhaps I have just left him behind.
It is hard to watch something die,
and harder still to believe nothing ever does,
and hardest to see we always were.
God says to me but the dead know nothing over and over in my head.
A few ticks down the fourth axis, the same destiny overtakes all. And if I am here living,
(and further along damned thought-less, and a few ticks back blissfully, pitifully ignorant,)
I suppose I am the knowing-est of myself so far. I suppose I am like
A dizzy ant on paper, and something like a wise man is tracing for me the escape
From flatness. I suppose I am the one who has gone beyond,
Stumbling toward an infinite expanse of life-breath and living water.
And I suppose I am like a child,
Surrounded by what she has outgrown,
Drawing the things she does not have, computing the heavens in diagrams,
Reaching for the gifts God does not take away.
For further reading: Genesis 2:7, Job 1:21, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Ecclesiastes 9:3-5, John 4:14, John 11:32-37, James 1:17, 2 Peter 3:8, 1 John 2:17
Yune Jee Bang is a sophomore at Brown.