Pigeons

Huang Fan
Translated from the Chinese by Margaret Ross & Huang Fan

I’ve never seen pigeons argueI only see them soarI don’t know if a pigeon is naïve or worldlyI just know it has no past to make it toil through lifeMaybe they’re the tongues of the airLazily expressing cars’ sighsMaybe they’re lined up on the roofVying to perform snow’s weddingOne day I stick my head out the windowAnd realize their nation is the act of soaringSoaring makes my silence meaninglessThank god, they’ve taught me how to talk about nations!Standing under a flock of pigeons, I think ohPeople aren’t even worth one flower blooming toward them

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Huang Fan is a poet, novelist, and essayist living in Nanjing. His most recent poetry collections are The Insomniac Moon and Nanjing Elegies. 
 

Margaret Ross is the author of A Timeshare. Her poems and translations have appeared in A Public Space, The Paris Review, and Poetry. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.

March 2019

Chicago, Illinois

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