from Purple Starfish by Xu Demin

And I could not help regretting
That I made decorative patterns on my desk
Of your solidified tears
Now I have set up a miniature gravestone
In the quiet of my heart
If I had not known of your worldly existence
My heart would not have grown this heavy

Not all kindness
Gets the respect it deserves
Not all injuries
Are premeditated a long time
O starfish
Let’s be friends
My heart will be your forest of coral

translated by Fang Dai, Dennis Ding, & Edward Morin