Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fan Jinghua: After a Dinner

    After a Dinner
Easy air is serpentine along the floor
Before curling upward, like invisible flames.
You sit there, and you sit among them, eyes smiling at an anecdote.
There must be a man outside the frame, like me
Looking at this pictured stillness.

The dinner is over. Has he proposed a toast to your glamour and grace?
And what is the dessert? Is that man like me, over 38, who can talk
In another language about a woman poet who committed suicide 38 years before?
Was he, too, born into a country that persistently educated him
Not to believe in karma or samsara.

You turn your head like avoiding the mesmerizing music,
As if you will not be resigned to its hidden call. You raise the goblet
And pronounce, “You’d better believe.” And then a blankness
Settles into the pause. “Maybe it is mere superstitious, and next year
You may consider it coincidental, and who could tell

The year after the next?”
He says, “This wine is mellow and crisp, a superb aftertaste.”
And he takes another sip, “I would.”
As you lean back on the chair, the curtain flowers are folding tighter.
He looks over your shoulder. The streetlight is still and thick.

   晚餐后
适意的气氛如蛇一样在地板上蜿蜒
然后袅袅升起,好似隐匿的火舌。
你坐着,你就是坐在它们中间,听着一件轶事。
画框外该有一个男人,如我,
看着这张静止的画面。

晚餐已经结束。他是否为你的魅力而敬你一杯?
吃了什么甜点?那个男人是否也有三十八岁,如我,
用另一种语言谈论一个自杀在三十八年前的女诗人?
只是他出生的国家从小就教育他
不相信报应和轮回。

你转过头来,犹如要躲开那催眠似的音乐,
不愿顺应那潜在的召唤。你举杯抿了一口,说道:
“你最好相信”。这时,空白及时
占据你们之间的停顿。“现在你会认为这是迷信,
明年你或许会认为这是巧合,而谁

又能保证再过一年会怎样?”
他说:这酒不错,爽口且余味醇厚。
又啜了一口,他说“我会相信”。
当你向后靠着椅背,窗帘上的花朵被折叠得更紧。
他从你的肩上望出窗外,街灯洒下浓厚的静谧。

This was first written in 2003, and its revised version in 2006 was published in Ivory Poetry (USA) with a Chinese version. The present version is a truncated one.
本诗最初稿写于2003,2006年的修改稿随同中文版发表在美国的《常青藤》诗刊。这里的是缩短删节版。

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