untitled love poem by Li Shang-yin

Coming was an empty promise, you have gone, and left no footprints:
The moonlight slants above the roof, already the fifth watch sounds.
Dreams of remote partings, cries which cannot summon,
Hurrying to finish the letter, ink which will not thicken.
The light of the candle half encloses kingfishers threaded with gold,
The smell of musk comes faintly through embroidered water-lilies.
Young Liu complained that Fairy Hill is far.
Past Fairy Hill, range above range, ten thousand mountains rise.

translated by A.C. Graham

You Who by Tekin Gönenç

you who
grow gallows within you

are weeping now leaning
your head against window panes
I know full well

the moon wanders over the night
as the callous city
emerges from its sheath
the child that forsook you
confined in it

and then start endless conflagrations
in the revolving mirrors of your soul
darting looks from every corner
whether you close your eyes
or open them wide

you who
went through so many cross-fires
you who
knew what love is and has been
what you’ve shared
was not a hybrid luminescence

why does this whirlpool
opening to the unknown
force the confines
of the power of imagination

pale face
why not let the self you’ve always kept for her
escape through the window

would it be better perhaps
just to shuttle to and fro
at the tip of a clumsy dagger
in the blind alleys of your heart

translated by Ender Gürol