When I try too hard, I slip into boredom.
What hateful enemy hounds me?
Why is my life so deficient?
Born in the Cultural Revolution, my bitter roots run shallow.
I grew up on hatred, dialectics, subjugation.
Rocky dirt roads in the countryside
taught me the palpable world.
Barefoot summer and winter, autumn and spring,
I curled in the husk of my old coat.
I chased after the village’s limping projectionist.
As his reels spun out the story, the beam’s fan
cut through dust and moths,
and sham battles surged over a sea of dark heads.
They didn’t know they were slaves.
Boyhood’s only fun — shooting birds with a slingshot
in the “Four Pests” campaign. If there were tears,
the still warm sparrows
burned in my hand. These days
I dare not kill a chicken or look at blood —
how cruel when the heart tallies the past!
I’d give anything to live my own life.
If I collapse, will you catch me?
Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com
Permalink URL: http://www.cerisepress.com/04/10/deficiency