Exploding Cow

In Shandong, someone sticks a plastic tube
through the cow’s nostril and into its stomach,
then pours water.
The animal collapses,
limbs dangling skyward,
belly swollen.
Docile black eyes stare out in terror.
These eyes,
this belly
will soon explode,
but the man who pours water in the cow is still laughing.


Translation of “Bao zha de niu” Copyright Yang Zi. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 by Fiona Sze-Lorain, Ye Chun, and Melissa Tuckey. All rights reserved.