A Couple

By YANG JIAN

He was old.
She, too, was old.
Their years, like lightning, slit the heart of the passerby.
They quickly finished eating a chicken:
He, the head, she, the legs.
From outside the window, a warm spring breeze brushed their faces.
Their hearts stirred for once,
Like the firs in the park,
Towering, nondescript.
It would matter precious little
If they were dead, rotten.

 

Translated by Stephen Haven and Li Yongyi

 

Yang Jian’s books of poetry include Dusk, Old Bridge, and Remorse.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 05 here]

A Couple

Related Posts

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.