Literary Zone

Chinese writer Zheng Xiaoqiong

18 May 2024 at 18:49 | 1498 views

Water Becomes Water

By Zheng Xiaoqiong

Water becomes water’s shape in the water, inside the machine we become
the image of the machine, the dusk becomes the machine’s dusk,
in piercing we are pierced by the machine, we must use
a defective good to prove we are defective goods, use movement to complete
the machine’s deficient movement, use the reality of words and screws
to realize our own reality, become phantoms of order forms or profit
to transcend defective goods, and the summer rolls up its black tongue: from inside the machine
peel away the machine as it revolves, from the assembly line separate out
the finger as it returns to my body, from the midst of pain return
to the womb as it gives birth, from dreaming return to the dream, the machine lives in
the sight of iron nails, as we face ourselves in the mirror
all that’s left in the sky is a pure orphaned moon, and the Henan wheat
recognizes Anhui flavors, Dongguan videotapes search
for Tokyo tastes, plastic tears drip into a basket,
the wind unfurls the fall, the women workers start the long climb up the screws’ ladder

—Translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman