Traversing Tiananmen Square from the Underground

Monday, July 16, 2012

Translated from Chinese by Ye Chun, Melissa Tuckey, and Fiona Sze-Lorrain




















No one knows, whose ashes
float in the air
entering our eyes,
inhaled as dust into our nostrils and mouths.

In the capital’s metro,
a gust of chilled wind pours down my neck. It’s bright in the cabin,
an old man and a young girl sit opposite me, flirting audaciously.

As I traverse Tiananmen Square from the underground, I feel nothing.
I feel nothing toward the minuiscule ash in the sky,
nor my life and death,
nor thousands of others’ lives and deaths,
Only that gust of chilled wind pouring insistently into my neck,
only the sound of train wheels, precipitating like a phantom that chases.

Sunday, July 1, 2012