A new poem by Huang Fan, translated by Josh Stenberg
It’s like a white hand, suddenly over my face
Two months already, I’m still not used to it
Warm over my sighing embrace
So even my mother tongue gets carefully filtered?
It’s the jail gate of the tongue, imprisoning how much hot air
It keeps even love at a distance
It says our mouths are like wounds it needs to tightly bandage
It’s like a white moon, makes me bury my desires in a dream.
It’s this spring’s most abundant white blossom
Trying to match tragedy’s hue
It’s also winter in a patient’s lungs
Freezing to permafrost on everyone’s faces
And when I complain while wearing you, my mouth fills with shame.