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Poem

Zhang Zao

Subway Harp

Let us stop in mid-journey, no light either side
The cutlery ghosts of the dining car pinging wildly
Or let us walk out onto ground level
Living corpses dead on escalators

I remain your groom. Verging on thirty
My index fingers trying their best to put on weight
A drunken monkey peach in my pocket
Me: just one of the human race, more mysterious than flame

Ten years later, walking out onto ground level from faraway
Sidling up to a shaking desk to write you
A love letter. California's eight o’clock ladies-style jacket
Lightly sugared sunlight licking dark circles under your eyes

You walk out onto ground level, and when I shift aside the vase
Evolution’s shadow glues the heels of multi-coloured
Masks together. The evening bell tolls, lying itself down
In a glass of overturned milk: oh, harp

The milk harp tunes its strings tightly earthwards
Stretched to breaking point and, when I vacantly occupy the bedside
I seem to touch that locomotive speeding on its way to you
Strumming like some strange monster a separate reality

SUBWAY HARP

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Subway Harp

Let us stop in mid-journey, no light either side
The cutlery ghosts of the dining car pinging wildly
Or let us walk out onto ground level
Living corpses dead on escalators

I remain your groom. Verging on thirty
My index fingers trying their best to put on weight
A drunken monkey peach in my pocket
Me: just one of the human race, more mysterious than flame

Ten years later, walking out onto ground level from faraway
Sidling up to a shaking desk to write you
A love letter. California's eight o’clock ladies-style jacket
Lightly sugared sunlight licking dark circles under your eyes

You walk out onto ground level, and when I shift aside the vase
Evolution’s shadow glues the heels of multi-coloured
Masks together. The evening bell tolls, lying itself down
In a glass of overturned milk: oh, harp

The milk harp tunes its strings tightly earthwards
Stretched to breaking point and, when I vacantly occupy the bedside
I seem to touch that locomotive speeding on its way to you
Strumming like some strange monster a separate reality

Subway Harp

Let us stop in mid-journey, no light either side
The cutlery ghosts of the dining car pinging wildly
Or let us walk out onto ground level
Living corpses dead on escalators

I remain your groom. Verging on thirty
My index fingers trying their best to put on weight
A drunken monkey peach in my pocket
Me: just one of the human race, more mysterious than flame

Ten years later, walking out onto ground level from faraway
Sidling up to a shaking desk to write you
A love letter. California's eight o’clock ladies-style jacket
Lightly sugared sunlight licking dark circles under your eyes

You walk out onto ground level, and when I shift aside the vase
Evolution’s shadow glues the heels of multi-coloured
Masks together. The evening bell tolls, lying itself down
In a glass of overturned milk: oh, harp

The milk harp tunes its strings tightly earthwards
Stretched to breaking point and, when I vacantly occupy the bedside
I seem to touch that locomotive speeding on its way to you
Strumming like some strange monster a separate reality
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Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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