H A N B O
NO ENTRY FOR MINORS
Translated by Jason Pym and Mark Wallace
Clasping a liquid hand, drifting.
The sea water doesn't know I'm sea water too
Its nakedness pushing my nakedness
Trying to wash me up on shore.
I drift from one self
Into another, I clasp
My own hand. I haven't forgotten the liquid path
That winds around a submerged reef
From Shanghai to Inner Mongolia.
I'm stranded on the beach. Waves break
Lapping at my face, as if to extinguish a candle
Beneath the water. The beach seems too young.
I remember an unmarked fork in the road.
Red tide. I hear a man and woman
Take off swimsuits in the rented tent,
Imagine how they stare at each other
And notice they've each grown different.
You're fatter. Yes, and you're older.
When I was young, the tide was never red.
Did you see that bulldozer? And the laborers
Shouldering spades, walking up the beach?
Are they hurrying to clear the bathing area?
You're still so naive. Watch carefully–
They load their spades with film.
With every bulldozed pile of kelp, the camera lens
pushes closer toward us. Don't forget the kite above your head.
Completely motionless. It's nailed to the sky for a purpose.
Running toward the waves from the dunes,
A naked boy clasps the string of a drifting kite.
His manhood sleeps in the sea breeze
Like the kite in his hand, rides the air suspended.
A descriptive essay tripped him. The boy fell,
Choking on mouthfuls of seawater. The sea
Theme is too broad, too cumbersome, even a plastic bag
Blown by the wind becomes a motif.
His mother tried to sell me corn, in her pocket she held
An announcement from the evening paper
soliciting articles. She couldn't see me
But repeatedly said it was getting windy
Yes, the wind. Few people can ride it, you know.
The sea breeze was cut to shreds by the wheels, a bike with 28 inch tires
Charging into the essay's first draft. Youthful, she grasps
His young waist. Sitting behind him, she cries out
As he rushes into the sea, at his attentions
bestowed before the gathering darkness.
In the sea water, drifting, he clasps her hand.
He points to the kelp on his head. This part
I can describe: the night swimmers are barely able
To raise their heads to breathe.
The sand is also good. She raises her head and squeezes her body
into another bold motif. The first thing she prepares
Is the midday background: His fingers hold the sand,
the grains drain through, and he heaps upon her
these most romantic treasures.
The sand clasps my hand, drifting.
The sand doesn't know I'm not sand. I have already sunk
Into the concept of the beach. Pushed by the sea breeze
That clasps the hand of sand, I plot more of the piece.
Let's go out, don't stay in the tent all day, I want
To go in the water, we should wash. No, I want
To bury you, let the sand cover your intimate secrets
then go and eat seafood together.
No, I don't want to eat seafood. Last year I ate oysters
Right here. I almost couldn't get home.
Coils of rubber, kelp, soap bubbles
Cover this stretch of beach, along with greenish black stuff
From a child who will never be born.
Mother, the kite has come down! It's already
Been in the sky too long, it's certainly tired.
We should let it come to earth; I'll make a castle for it.
Youthful, she helps him dig a youthful
City moat. I have slid in the ice-cold gap
Between her toes, clasping sand, drifted in her
Palace chamber, sometimes open.
His youthful hand weaves
A wreath of kelp. He resolves to overcome the boy
Whose manhood drips, and in her name, construct
The grandest castle, moat and monument on the beach,
Including a mausoleum for this underwater emperor.
The waves lap at my back, pull away
My hand that clasps sand. The mother, who has sold
All her corn, grabs the boy's hand that clutches the sand.
She boxes his ears with the evening paper:
The tide is rising and you're still playing!
People only live once, the grass and trees die every fall.
Few get a chance, are lucky enough to ride
The swelling ocean, right?
Death clasps the hand of the child, drifting.
The mother clasps the boy's hand, straining to swim
Towards the shark nets. Don't be afraid, use your body as a kite.
When you sink, carefully watch your own feelings.
Clasping a liquid hand, the kite drifts
Towards me as I lie on the sea bed. I ride the liquid
Bicycle, skirting things that have already happened, bringing him
The source material collapsed in the waves.
On the sea bed, another beach accumulates. No man was ever born
Who mentioned his next life between the lines: that's
A dark stretch of waterway, and on the bank, only air
Soaks up the slow time. He doesn't know
That you are also her, and him. He clasps her hand
And spreads out a map – You've never been to Inner Mongolia.
The road sign dissolves at the fork in the road, your last drop
Of liquid inspiration hits the surface of the sea.
I turn towards a place it's not worth going.
The sea water discovers I'm also sea water
Its nakedness pushes me to digress. I am clasped
By a liquid hand, drifting.
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