戀葉 Leaf Enchantment

Translated by Kwok Kwan Mun, Lo Kwai Cheung, John Minford  1986


At this limpid pond in early morning
she bows her head to quench her thirst
desire is born in her heart
It's like the swaying of seaweed, the flapping of gills
not a shoulder glimpsed amid trees, nor a shattered
countenance, but a complete human form
She likes to see, to see the image she sees
Seeing her. Between us,
she says, lies only a film of water
her eyes glisten with strange lustre, her face
flushes, her voice turns tender
as though she were drunk, she makes strange movements
for reasons unknown, she turns her body, raises her hand
smooths her willowy hair, sways her head
after a falling leaf; or weaving gracefully, stretches
herself, watching the mirror of water watching her stretch herself
reading the oncoming hand, as if beholding a likeable sign
She reaches out her hand to unfold it, but the sudden contact
shatters the vision; surprise after surprise, seen
then not seen; thunderbolts and lightning
the tearing agony of ferocious gales
union, then separation; roots snapped, fibres still
entwined. During the patient waiting, ripples mature
into circles. Something is always added to the mirror
and something is always omitted? She grows calm
and steady, a secret heaviness transformed into
an opulence of fruits, not seen
Heavy and opulent, she looks down
between the gaze of desire and the depth of water
the wind sweeps by
rippling language

1986




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