The Reliquary | 宝塔

By and | 1 October 2020

Translated by Ali McIness

—for Li Chun and His Contemporaries

The reliquary is a candle; the lake by the trees
And the bottle on its shore, drawing on its warmth.
And why isn’t it the bottle?
You raise it, perhaps to take another drink?

To whistle? Or cast it into the lake,
Rending your lungs in song to the night life.
I, myself, gallop swift as storm winds, the reliquary
Rising abruptly from weekend shopping receipts to
proclaim: Love!

Hate! That with which your right hand fumbles,
Not a computer mouse or western book, but a
window frame: Push it open,
Let in the fine vapours of translation. Mountain
forms rising from the babble,
A sandpaper dawn—So false! Against this backdrop

The reliquary stands a pinnacle; the darkness you
turn to grasp,
Forever its reflection. Eyes left in attention,
Its gaze follows you. Although it may be gossamer
soft, fruit flavoured, fluorescent,
Above all else it’s crimson.

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