By Song Lin, translated by Dong Li
On the twelve identical bridges
not a single one without endless streams of traffic.
The evening bell tolled, birds retrieved their shadows,
steeples faded into a gray sky.
Eyes in a daze, last leaves in the wind
kept trembling, not knowing where to fall.
A spurt of feelings from the divided self
as if you stood on every one of the twelve bridges.
Listening to praise songs on the wind
you were in an ocean of raging fire.
Paratroopers of the heavy snow still gathering then,
the moths of the soul chopped open the church’s candlelight.
Rising up intensely, they became air and darkness.
The wind cried out on the bridge, whose soul was that?
Become yourself, not the soul of another person,
cold and lonely like stars.
In the bustle of traffic and celebration of the flesh,
become a river, washing away silent sorrows.