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YE Hui, translated by Dong LI

The High-Speed Train

It could be a winter
Evening in the nineteenth century
Taking the train to Paris
In a fur coat and hat, holding
A briefcase, in the compartment
Polished wooden walls
And a face, reflected from the glass
All that has vanished

If we float above the ground
There is a sensation

The street wets
The doorbell, recent rumors
Certify worldly changes
The smell of chemicals loose
In the eucalyptus trees

Before dawn, a black stove
Quietly carries the dead away, death
A kind of humiliation, yet at times
Humility, like the faces
By the window in old photos
That stay forever
In hidden tracks and fields

Only a lonesome tree
Oxygenates itself

Rusted tracks and soot
Their joint must be crossed
The curve of the bend
Brings pleasure to thoughts
Perhaps we will wake in time
Trot off the train or go on
Sleeping and let the train take us
Through the thin dusk, to cross

The end, afterwards, the inborn wildness
The real absence of light

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