Honeymoon


One whole September
I was never without him
So much so I frequently turned my head to look around
for fear there was a shadow following me
Waves lapping on the island
schools of fish in the water
we gradually grew bored with looking
sunrises and sunsets were nothing unnatural
the restaurant’s owner treats us
like his long lost friends
each time pretending so
must be difficult for him

I say: Noodles
He says: Rice
there’s also a shared bowl of soup
during this honeymoon we should treat each other as honored guests
so I ladle him some soup
he also ladles me some

In the forest is a peculiar bird
That at midnight starts to trill
I think: That’s another day over with
What is he thinking
I don’t know

Endless honeymoon
that bird still sings in the forest
it thinks nobody knows
but I’m in the forest listening closely
I don’t dare turn my head to look around
for fear that behind me
he has replaced my shadow


By Wu Ang
translated, from the Chinese, by Leah House


 
Leah House is majoring in Asian Studies with a concentration on Chinese language at the University of Michigan. She also studies Spanish Literature.

Wu Ang is a female contemporary Chinese poet born in China’s Fujian Province in 1974. She later attended Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University, and proceeded to attain a postgraduate degree in contemporary Chinese fiction at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Her writing is recognized by its simplicity in vocabulary which she says is because she feels complicated words take away from a poem’s main ideas.
 

There Were Two Sleepless Nights


There were two sleepless nights
that carried the sound of imaginary footsteps
little by little
I sat up in bed
I opened the door
I saw you
your hair was damp
the unripe flavor of tree leaves
are you my olive tree
or are you my pigeon
are you my
straw hat forgotten in Spain
or the unpronounceable name of Roman airport

Where were you grown, carrot
what flavor of coffee are you
are you the water in sugar?
Do you stay here
for the sake of moonlight underfoot
or for sunny cliffs

Here
Beijing has brightened
its alleyways
for me
are a freshly spread map
I seem to not have a reason
to feel depressed over you

Because you
are brighter than they
Your ordinary love
is brighter than all of them
and it hurts my eyes

There is nothing I can do to make you fade away
if you do not agree
I am unable to make you nod or shake your head
Like a naughty student put in the corner
I willingly
accept your damp kiss


By Wu Ang
translated, from the Chinese, by Leah House


 
Leah House is majoring in Asian Studies with a concentration on Chinese language at the University of Michigan. She also studies Spanish Literature.

Wu Ang is a female contemporary Chinese poet born in China’s Fujian Province in 1974. She later attended Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University, and proceeded to attain a postgraduate degree in contemporary Chinese fiction at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Her writing is recognized by its simplicity in vocabulary which she says is because she feels complicated words take away from a poem’s main ideas.