The full moon night of October.
He turns off the lamp, opens wide the window curtains so the beams of moon can enter. How strange, waning.
He asks his wife.
- It’s a waning moon right?
- Nope - she says indifferently – the moon's absolutely round up there!
He asks his mother.
- Ma, why's the moon waning on this fifteenth day?
His mother (no burning desire to look out the window) testily replies.
- Waning? It’s not waning at all.’
He asks his child. No reply. He asks again (for fear she didn’t hear).
- I don’t know!!!
The little girl screams from her room.
He strains his eyes looking.
For a long while.
He covers one eye with his hand.
He covers both eyes.
He sees nothing at all.
Oh of course, what an idiot.
In a Wat, the 15th day of October (seemingly), 2003
-- translated by Kaitlin Rees
-- painting of Đinh Trường Chinh