October 16, 2009

Two poems

To Get Myself Some Water

~Translated from Ellen Lai’s ‘Grassland’, written in Chinese

Our love toils about one period.
On the bloody and lusty grassland
You transform me into your self-pitied crippled rabbit.

When you finally discard everything you have
That is inside your permanently bulging equipment,
You turn your back
And ride towards the flat horizon

On a white horse
Whose tail is momentarily dyed pink.
Your horse clip-clops on the flatland.
Your horse remains no more.

I am still bleeding, and my inner thighs are sore.
I hop to the muddy river
To get myself some water.
That reflection of mine is startling:
She’s a ghostly ancient whore.

First published in Hutt


The Fisherman’s Wife

The Summer shower comes down
as mercilessly as running horses on full speed.
The afternoon news reports again that there’s no news
about the lost fishing vessel of late.
‘It’s okay, he’ll be back.’ They keep telling her.
They keep telling themselves to keep telling her.

Tonight, she leaves home and mounts the pier
on her palms and knees, without help
from her husband, presumably lost in the sea.
Before departure, he said it would be
a marvellous genesis.

To the salted wind and the salted rain
she serves herself. By the morning
she knows he isn’t returning.
The white-haired waves loom high,
clutching tight the wet air.

Sleepless, tired, she curses,
wails to the open sea like a dog being butchered;
but soon no voice comes to her.
She’s turned into a mad statue,
forced to wait for the impossible
come back.

First published in Qarrtsiluni


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