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Three Poems

by Yu Jian
Translated from the Chinese by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett

Three Poems

Yu Jian
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96

A cold front is attacking the city
3 p.m. the sky is turning gray
Cold has gripped everything
Someone starts to be afraid of life
Someone loses interest in travelling
Someone pulls his coat tighter
but when a beautiful woman appears
even if it’s just a glimpse of her back in the street
the controlling force loses its grip
life wants to live again
the traveler feels like taking off now
the Kunming man who hates cold weather
suddenly lets go of his collar
revealing his neck, pink from the cold

 

100

The afternoon sun
sweeps across the furniture       deep into the room
lights up the bowls and plates in the cupboard
the salt and pepper shakers on the gas stove
and the square stool under the table
The sun rearranges the colors in the pantry
A flash in the darkness
I find the long-lost
silver spoon

 

102

The car zooms across the high plateau
When the edge of the virgin forest appears
an imaginary doe
leaps into my heart
but I no longer have a stream or meadow
to keep it there

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