Huang Lihai was born in Xuwen and now lives in Guangzhou. He is editor of the poetry magazines Poetry & People. His books of poems include I Know Little about Life and The Passionate Mazurka. He won the 8th Lu Xun Literary Award (Guangzhou, 2009) and Lebanon International Literary Award (2013).
The river is my blood.
She understands my thirst
in the migration.
I will outlive poverty.
The tree of our times will turn green.
But why are my sleeves wet?
The bush is flying.
My heart wearily shakes.
Life is as short as lightning.
It forces me to run
before I have the time to grieve.
I cherish tiny things.
They stay warm in daily life,
never attract people’s eyes,
soundless as the stars.
When I touch them, they break into parts,
just like an ancient folk song,
incomplete, yet enough to make me uneasy.
It’s a grain of salt that invades the sea
or a rock that occupies the hill.
The animals whose names I do not know –
the yet-to-be friends
live in a tiny forgotten world.
I want to sing to them. I’m prepared
to get close to them
and cross out a few big words.
the saffron train
is running in the tunnel.
All of us are fugitives
wanted by life.
All places we stayed remained obscured,
so their names could not be erased.
At the turnabout
where train and light disappear,
I ride a horse
to the deep of the grass,
just like taking a breath in the dark.