I dreamt a poem: beautiful and whole.
A finely polished crystal ball. An open
cage filled with the golden autumnal Karst
light. Empty inside, with a music box
at the heart. The rustle of a dead bird’s wing,
and the subterranean river whose path
is revealed by a strand of fog winding
among the vineyards and solitary pines…
I took a pencil that I always keep
at my bedside and gripped it,
like a man drowning
I reached out for a slim, nonexistent straw.
In the morning I awoke, pencil in hand.
With a tiny beam of sunlight shed
on the lines of living and dying
that cross each other in my palm. With the canopy
of a giant walnut tree washed clean by the night rain
in my sight. With the cooing of doves in my ear…
The dream I could not remember.
It was but another of my unwritten
poems. A poem which has been, like many
people in the city where I was born,
swallowed by night.
Translated by Mia Dintinjana