The Wound of Time

The Wound of Time Luo Fu (一) Pale is the moonlight’s skin But the skin of my time slowly blackens Peels away layer by layer In the wind (二) A raincoat from before the war hangs behind the door A discharge order in the pocket The night-blooming cereus on the balcony Blossoms in vain for one night The wound of time continues festering So serious It cannot be cured even by chanting a few lines of the dharani mantra (三) Some say Hair has only two colors: If not black then white What then the tomb grass, green then yellow? (四) Our kites Were snatched away by the sky None have returned in one piece The string is all that remains in our hands Broken yet unbroken (五) Pain Proves we age in time Roots warm the sleeping soil The wind blows One by one the bean pods burst (六) At times I vent my anger before the mirror If only All lights in the city were extinguished I’d never find my face there again I shatter the glass with my fist Blood oozes out (七) We sang war songs on the boulevards that year Heads high, chins up, we proudly entered history We were stirred to the quick Like water Dripping on a red-hot iron The names on our khaki uniforms Were louder than a rifle shot But today, hearing the bugle from the barracks nearby I suddenly rose, straightened my clothes Then sat down again, dejected Softly keeping time with the beat (八) Reminiscing about the old days When we fought with our backs to the sea ...... Twilight falls Horses gallop away An old general’s white head Is seen Slowly looking up Out of the dust (九) Wading through the water Our bodies made of foam We suddenly raise our heads The twilight sun, beautiful as distant death On the water’s surface Reflection of a giant bird of prey In a flash it’s gone Can we swim the sea within ourselves? (十) In the end I took out all the bottles But it didn’t help With what little wine remained I secretly jotted a line in the palm of my hand It suddenly froze As severe winter broke in my body The fire is dying, am I supposed to feed it my bones? Thanks Benjamin.

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