I'm holding a big round
golden grapefruit
that smells bitter.
A small knife
can cut through what seems
to be a thick skin—
I begin to shiver
in quiet pain.

A life without pain
is an unpicked
fruit: it rots.

I want to be a grapefruit cut
by a knife or bitten by teeth.
I’d rather have pain
and die in pain peacefully
than watch my body rot
with maggots squirming inside.

This whole winter
I’ve been doing one thing repeatedly—
peeling grapefruits one after another
absorbing the nutrients of my own death.

9.13.1999

我把玩着一个又大又圆的柚子
金黄的一团
散发着苦涩的清香
用一把小刀
就能划破它看似很厚的表皮
在无言的疼痛之中
我开始颤栗

感觉不到疼痛的生活
如同无人采择的果实
等待它的只有腐烂腐烂

我真想成为这只柚子
被刀切破手或被牙咬
宁可在疼痛中
安详地死去
也不愿看到自己正在腐烂的肉体
长满了蠕动的蛆

整整一个冬天
我都会重复着同样的事情
把一只只柚子剥开
在死亡中汲取营养

1999.9.13.




Liu XiaLiu Xia

Liu Xia (1961- ), Chinese poet, artist, and photographer, was born and grew up in Beijing, and worked as a civil servant for the Beijing tax bureau. She started writing poetry in 1982 and met Liu Xiaobo at a literary gathering. She married Xiaobo when he was imprisoned in 1996. Liu Xia has been under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, while Liu Xiaobo himself is serving the eleven-year sentence in a prison in the northeast China.

Translated from ChineseChinese by Ming DiMing Di and by Jennifer SternJennifer Stern

Ming Di is a poet, translator, and editor of New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Tupelo Press, co-published by Poetry Foundation, 2013). She received a Henry Luce Foundation fellowship in 2013.

Jennifer Stern is an American poet and translator.