Lovers with Flowers
Can you contain my most intimate whisper,
settle it down after it has entered you,
make it a part of you and still cling
to my hand as gently as your eyes hold me?
Something must protect our weakness,
our mortality, and I choose the petal
and the leaf for their own transcience,
as life is emboldened by mortal fear.
In this light through this glass and wood,
I sleep confidently in your murmurs and dreams,
deaf to significance, delighting
in our petty island of flowers and silences.
You have turned my soul to blazing pith.
tr. Fan Jinghua
Note: I was invited to Afaa Weaver's first Simmons International Chinese Poetry Conference in 2004 at which I met him for the first time. I was reading a paper on language issues in translation, especially the impact of the so-called translation style upon modern and contemporary Chinese poetry writing, and also read some of my poems.