Seven Years

by Xue Di

Seven Years
     translated by Waverly and Keith Waldrop

Walking on broken glass, living
in a city whose dialect I don’t speak

Feet infected, walking my own way
things persisting back of the flesh, bringing

thoughts to fruition.  Making hands
hold back, there where the dark stands out.  Speech

reaching to where we have not reached
Labor without end.  Loneliness, then a precise

word.  In a local crowd:  stronger
than some new kind of language