the space between us is about as wide as a whisper
Communications
Author: Yang Xie
Published on: 9/30/2015 3:32:09 PM

In the bar, we were separated by a table

You said: ‘I, as a sincere poet...’
I lowered my head, noticing a strawberry that was half ripe

In the bar, we were separated by a table

You said:‘When I face the great and rich Chinese language...’
I extended three fingers, to quietly pick up this strawberry

In the bar, we were separated by a table

Your cropped hair was rather neat but your fat chin was
mirror-shining, oily

I chewed the strawberry, tasting its strange ulcer

In the bar, we were separated by a table

I suddenly recalled having read one of your poems, ‘In July,
the icy fire
Was ablaze with the sea as I witnessed a lightning that refused
to be revised...’

In the bar, we were separated by a table

Quietly, I spat out a squash of the chewed stuff on the table
As I thought: it’s an absolute mistake putting the strawberry
in my mouth


-- translated from Chinese by Ouyang Yu

(originally published by Vagabond Press : Poems of Yi Sha, Shu Cai & Yang Xie)
-- photo by Nguyễn Man Nhiên
 

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