On Curing Depression | 关于抑郁症的治疗

By and | 1 October 2020

Translated by Austin Woerner and Bao Huiyi

Now all I need to do is carefully differentiate
between each dull ache, name it, add a footnote,
lock it up
in the correct drawer: which tears I shed
for my suffering father, which for frostbitten love,
which came just from shivering in this vast,
prison of stars in which we all live. If each small pain
could be precisely located, like troubles in Yogacara
they would, like sins in Dante’s funnel, become

Every pain I refuse to, won’t stoop to, or simply
cannot pour out
will congeal into brown, olive, and silver spices
brewing miracles in the holy-water bottle of time.
Rhetoric evaporates before a suffering heart, speech
becomes frivolous,
and if not done in order to save oneself
narration is unforgivable. If I could take a piece of
sky-blue chalk
into this maze, and mark every forking
that leads to disasters: “I have been here, I will not
be tempted again” then they would become

If all my tastes of mercury and arsenic
could exempt you from understanding this poem
—they would become bearable,
little patient.

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