translated by Xi Nan

The Feast

It was so noisy just a moment ago
Now my friends are gone
Leaving wine glasses and bottles
Some are empty
Some with wine in it
Half a candle is lighting up
A total mess
Dead bodies are all over the table
I look like one, too

Guangzhou is Particularly Cold This Winter

When we were taking leave
I shook hands with Boss Zhang first
Then with Boss Yang
I’d already shaken hands with
Sister Yu, Little Ai and Little Tian
Shuang’s hands
Were still warm
I shook hands with her lastly
Grabbed her hands
She said: How dare you leave!
If you leave tonight
Don’t ever see me again!
I felt that
She who said this had
A very hard tone
But very soft hands

Every Day

Every day
Almost every day
I make a phone call
To you
The contents of the call
Are all nonsense
Have you eaten
What are you doing now
What time did you sleep last night
Were you sleepless
Thinking of these words
I feel disgusting
What’s more disgusting—
I always forgive myself
But what else can I do
If I don’t call you

The Dead

We were talking, suddenly she looked at me, I looked at her, we both stopped. After 30 seconds, she said:
“There is some price that I’m willing to pay.”
“Fine, then. If you’re willing to pay, then I’ve got nothing else to say,” I said. And then, time paused.
My heart was dead, her heart was dead
I thought about my things, she read her text messages
There was peace and harmony between us

Always Midnight

Always in the middle of the night
I go to pass water
Holding the cell phone not for a call
But to use the flashlight
Getting used to grabbing a book
Not for reading either
And the phone is still in hand
Continues to light up
The book is then left in the toilet
Lying back in bed
A thought flashed in my head:
So many women in the world
Why it turns out to be
My wife sleeping next to me

Tomb-Sweeping Day

On this day, it is a bit cold
Or you can say, chill
On this day, cars are still running
Still so fast
Birds on this day
Are twittering
I listen carefully to the sound
Doesn’t sound like cuckoos
On this day
My wife gets up at 9:30
Without a word
Washes her face
Puts on a light makeup
Then calls me
To get up quickly
The rain on this day, oh
Started from last night
It is always on time
So mysterious, endless and melancholy

I’m a Cloud in the Sky

Wake up in the middle of the night
Find myself nakedly lying in bed
There is a girl beside
Also nakedly lying in bed
I ask who she is
She says, “I’m a cloud in the sky
On your heart lake I cast my figure”
I say, so you know this poem by Xu Zhimo (徐志摩)
She says, I am a kindergarten teacher
I say, do you want money?
She says, no
Your friend has already paid
I say, you can ask for more
She says, you were drunk
I was afraid you’d catch a cold
So took off your clothes
Then covered you with a blanket
And let you sleep with me
You haven’t told me yet—do you like me


The rain fell on my hair
Fell on my ears
Fell on my shoulders in the vest
In the rain
Our hands were holding together
We went to buy some sunflower seeds
The rain fell on my glasses
Fell on her dress
Fell on the poem above her head


The train departed
She followed. Slowly
She ran after the train
First we waved hands face to face
Then waved diagonally
Diagonally to the right
More and more slanting
Then little by little
She disappeared in my sight
I stuck my palms
Tightly to the glass window

Sound of the Night

Dog barking
Were the most real
Sounds that I heard
When I suddenly woke up
Snoring like thunders
Dog barked for no reason
Crickets were cozily chirping
Trucks were transporting in the night
The wind was blowing and leaves fell
I opened my eyes wide
Lying still
Also heard the sound of the floor
The sound of the door
And of the door crack

Chengdu (成都)

What time did the rain start
When you hear the rain sound outside
It’s been raining for a while
This always happens during nights in Chengdu
Just like the morning of Chengdu
You wake up from a dream
Hear birds twittering
Actually, birds have been twittering for a while

My Treat

After enough drinks and food
Saw every guest
Tidied up the bowls and chopsticks
Threw away the leftovers
Wiped the table
Mopped the floor
Used detergent
To brush things up
To wash things up
One by one
Put things in place
Lastly, got my hands washed

About the Translator

Xi Nan (Nancy) 西楠, born in China, writes and translates, author of different genres. Latest hybrid texts: Brandy (published by Alien Buddha Press). Her Twitter page is here.