The Fog of Our Age | 我们年龄的雾

By and | 1 October 2020

Translated by Heather Inwood

How it got here is a puzzle.
That’s not to say it’s unsolvable, but I’d rather
keep a little mystery for myself.

Snail-like, up the steps,
against the wall; wherever I look
I see its milky trail:

I intentionally ignore its weight,
but this is because I know
its strength. I’ve sensed it many times.

Similarly, I never worry about
questions of visibility and the like: I’ve noticed
a post office floating in its belly.

Just like that, three meals a day, take strolls at night,
read a few pages of Pascal before bed.
The window’s open. I’ve felt the change.

Because of this, I was for a time most engrossed
with where its edges lay,
this always left me full of secret wonder.

But now I have the confidence to stuff it
in a pocket like a box of matches, good for a light,
good for warmth, or for a fortune-telling game.

I also let it turn into an ant and
slip out, watch it cross my arm,
burrow into my chest where, I admit, it tickles—

You have opened the labyrinthine entrance to my soul
and, as curious as I’ve always been: when I see you
I am already within you.

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