20.3.12

Liu Xiaobo - You Wait For Me With Dust.


Today marks the worldwide reading for Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese writer imprisoned by his own country for publishing works "inciting state subversion."



You Wait For Me With Dust.

for my wife, who waits every day


Nothing remains in your name, nothing

but to wait for me, together with the dust of our home

those layers

amassed, overflowing, in every corner

you’re unwilling to pull apart the curtains

and let the light disturb their stillness

over the bookshelf, the handwritten label is covered in dust

on the carpet the pattern inhales the dust

when you are writing a letter to me

and love that the nib’s tipped with dust

my eyes are stabbed with pain

you sit there all day long

not daring to move

for fear that your footsteps will trample the dust

you try to control your breathing

using silence to write a story.

At times like this

the suffocating dust

offers the only loyalty

your vision, breath and time

permeate the dust

in the depth of your soul

the tomb inch by inch is

piled up from the feet

reaching the chest

reaching the throat

you know that the tomb

is your best resting place

waiting for me there

with no source of fear or alarm

this is why you prefer dust

in the dark, in calm suffocation

waiting, waiting for me

you wait for me with dust

refusing the sunlight and movement of air

just let the dust bury you altogether

just let yourself fall asleep in the dust

until I return

and you come awake

wiping the dust from your skin and your soul.

What a miracle – back from the dead.

1 comment:

ZombieLace said...

This poem took my breath away. If you like modern chinese poetry, I have a couple I can recommend to you. Actually, my third graders are doing a civil rights project, and one kid chose Xiaobo. Of course, he doesn't get as in depth as this, but it's at least heartening to know that awareness of Xiaobo's plight is widespread enough to even enter the realm of an 8 year old in America.