Yuan Yuan

Yuan Yuan

Prone to nosebleed since I was small
I have a few methods
to stop the blood.
Ice-cold water on the forehead;
middle finger tied at the base;
raise up your hand on the other side;
block your nose with tissue paper.
It might also be a good choice
to use chalk from the blackboard.
The most unique method
comes from my grandfather, my mother’s father.
Up in the hills or in the fields
suddenly my nose was bleeding.
He never panicked,
took off one shoe (those shoes made from cloth),
one side of the sole
he pressed on my nostril
and kept rubbing.
From the sole, a taste of mud;
a taste of sunlight;
a taste of grass;
a taste of sheep droppings;
a taste of dead insects;
stirred up together
right up my nostril.
I choked and gasped,
the blood shot back up.

Tr. MW, June 2014

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