Two Poems

Transnational marriage

A tongue from a developed country
Fallen into a developing mouth
It discovers, the sanitation there’s a bit problematic
The dentists are very irresponsible
A cotton-ball from many years ago
Still exuding residual warmth in some cranny
It sheepishly wishes to make an exit
But is clamped onto by the tips of incomplete teeth

In the name of love
In the name of profound and all-knowing love
Please stay here until the rumours pass
Then, we’ll be more as equals
Despite messier

I’m not acquainted with Tchaikovsky

—for mother
He’s not my neighbour
Nor is he the nurse on duty at the operating room
One day
I was out buying fish
Someone pointed at him and told me
That’s him who died a hundred and fifty years ago

Saltwater fish and bamboo weave
Making me drip with sweat
Not even a slip of handkerchief
I suppose
My daughter won’t be coming home too early

Never worried about the cherry harvest
But I’m worried about her
She’s almost all grown up
Amongst the men she’s infatuated with
There happens to be one called Tchaikovsky
A man who never plans to marry
She writes in her letter
“Therefore I’ve decided
to stay up north for the summer

Translated by Alice Xiang