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The Other Side of the River

Xi Chuan
On the other side of the river
there is a flame
a flame
burning May

burning August

when the pagoda tree blooms, the professor with lentigo bows to her
when orange blossoms fall, an heir of graceful demeanor waves to her
and smiles

yet on the other side of the river she remains, still burning
like the underwater glistening of red coral
like a red straw hat blown away in the breeze

when I saw her yesterday she was totally still, looking to the sky
and today she lowers her head to watch the river
if it were overcast and raining, what would she do there on that side
of the river?
—her flame would not go out

a poet looks to her
a farmer looks to her
a Dialectical Materialist looks to her
she is on the other side of the river, burning
burning May
burning August

From Notes On The Mosquito by Xi Chuan. Copyright © 2012 by Xi Chuan and Lucas Klein. Reprinted with permission of New Directions. All rights reserved.

From Notes On The Mosquito by Xi Chuan. Copyright © 2012 by Xi Chuan and Lucas Klein. Reprinted with permission of New Directions. All rights reserved.

Xi Chuan