Two Poems

Yang Zi


He drank the ink,
devoured the rag,
smeared mud on his face
and cut a neat windbreaker into pieces.
He felt his body
had already jumped off the balcony.
But it didn't fall,
just floating.
This life, this time,
wrapped in the weeds of feelings
and the puddle of desire,
floating . . .


He drank off a bottle of ink,
he wanted to be poisoned.
He drank off a bottle of ink,
he wasn't poisoned.
He was already poisoned.
He was destroyed by useless desires,
a member of the army sacrificed.

translated from the Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain