ON A TRIP
In the same night
I was at two events with Chinese writers.
The female writer who lived in London
gave me a stronger impression
than the male writer who stayed in America.
Her English pronunciation was better, more resonant;
also before at the event with the male writer
I was very thirsty
so I was distracted.
When the female writer was up on the stage
I had drunk enough water,
had been to the bathroom.
Under the light,
from the side she frowned at the moderator.
A grimace like
a Hollywood star doing a fierce ugly Asian.
It was really confusing,
like she was seeing her psychiatrist
at the literature festival.
As she screwed up her face
I really wanted to ask her: Are you happy?
Maybe it was
feeling for form
reminding me of my former self.
At a lit fest in Norway, I had a crowd of high school kids;
when it was over,
I saluted the packed mass in the dark,
like a Young Pioneer.
Tr. MW, Jan. 2016