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.