Lê Vĩnh Tài | this is not a poem (297)


By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translated by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


this is not a poem



it’s your eyes

your smile


the poem

a moment of madness

as I recall

the moment you flew away

like smoke abandoned me



this is not a poem

it’s etched in memories

the faces of our friends

in chalk



this is not a poem

it’s a cardboard box

forgotten at the back of the house. You 

stared at it from your bedroom window

saw it letting go

of a leaf

you suspect

it’s not a leaf because the protruding lines

were like veins


it flew, letting go and shedding everything

it was almost naked

and you’re left with



so, you retreated

undid your buttons, slowly loosened

your hair, exhaled

your veins protruding as twisted as the leaves


all you needed to do was…

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