Published on Academy of American Poets (

Guadalajara Cemetery

You sort the tin paintings
and lay your favorite in my lap.
Then you stroke my bare feet
as I lean against a tombstone.
It's time to cross the border
and cut your throat with two knives:
your wife, your son.
I won't try to stop you.
A cow with a mouth at both ends
chews hell going and coming.
I never asked less.
You, me, these withered flowers,
so many hearts tied in a knot,
given and taken away.


From The Collected Poems of Ai. Copyright © 2010 by Ai. Used with the permission of W.W. Norton & Company Ltd. 



Ai was the author of several books of poetry, including Vice: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 1999), which won the National Book Award for Poetry.

Date Published: 2018-10-01

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