Nie Quan

I don’t know what became of him.

a hairdresser when I was young.
there was a stove with open fire.
red, very red.
sleepy lamplight.
suddenly, two policemen come in
like from a winter night.

“got to let him finish the job”
two policemen
take out one pair of handcuffs,
hairdresser doesn’t say anything.
he knows why they’ve come, he was waiting for them.
he just did my hair
silently, thoroughly.
sometimes his fingers trembled a little.
like on the rafters, all the cold straw
up where the light came in.

Tr. MW, August 2015

Nie Quan


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