Proof By Zhai Yongming

The last ray of dusk stabs me.

I lie on the naked land, to prove

that my blood is mixed with a river

and I’ll never feel sad. Under me,


the sunset tans the white scattered rocks.

When I cross my hands, dark falls

and dreams ruin me immediately.

I am at a loss, trapped


by the drunken glare of twilight.

Water changes me; it describes

a lonely color. I can’t settle down.

I’m a boundless woman.

The look in my eye turns to amber

to penetrate the mind and make it less accessible.

The heart’s shadow

displays itself all night long on the rock, to prove


that the silence in the sky is beyond human power.

When I rise and turn into blue morning flames

autumn becomes colder--

Women, your sweetness

is last month’s disaster

but today you’re at peace, rising out of darkness

to give comfort.

From “New Generation: Poems from China Today,” edited by Wang Ping (Hanging Loose Press: 236 pp., $16)