The Wound of Time

The Wound of Time
Luo Fu

Pale is the moonlight’s skin
But the skin of my time slowly blackens
Peels away layer by layer
In the wind
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
Some say
Hair has only two colors:
If not black then white
What then the tomb grass, green then yellow?
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
Proves we age in time
Roots warm the sleeping soil
The wind blows
One by one the bean pods burst
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
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
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
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?
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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