Translated from the Chinese by Andrea Lingenfelter


flying towards a country of rain
the boeing 757, rigidly posed
steals some rest in flight
paper phantoms sit beside me
watching a two-hour movie
the blue stewardess hands me an ice-cold cola
jello quakes faintly in a foil cup
the wings expose their bones
placid engines droning on and on
unfamiliar winds tear at something outside the window
nails stuck to the water bear an uneasy legacy of cares
somewhere beneath my feet, trucks hauling loads of iron ore
have formed a long, long line

it’s midnight, and it’s before dawn
the moon turns its back on us and goes
troubled bowl, its fine surface
brimming with homesick joy
tears bring a cessation of pain
this endless ambivalence clings to me
it’s plagued me nearly all my days
drifting clouds above the junkyard
twisting suspended stars
along with me
flying towards a country of rain


Photograph © David Goehring 

Petty Thief
Dutch Landscapes