Cao Xuân Tứ

Between times


Imminent is the ear that skips
The receding beat of the beggar wheel,
No moon to play by, lest mannerism
Defaults her the famous ransom
Of hairy beasts in the fairy season.

Prominent is the tongue that bares
Manicured buds one stop to heaven,
She has but one eye that feeds
On pollens, and mine is bled
Since the weather blows her threats to fears.

Her cycle softens the jungle depth,
Gold in the hiccup, God off the mouth:
She moves fast now she slows down
To her second helping of youth, bailed out
In the trail of blue red skirts.

And I am winged, home on the fuming bird
Sky prone on the sea chest in the loose cloud.
All aground, at last alone.


Cao Xuân Tứ
From: New Edinburgh Review, No 47. August, 1979


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