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Your Dog

a dog lives
it’s your shadow

it learns about life
learns to go to toilets
learns to run forward with a lighter in its mouth
once you take out a cigarette
not only does it run forward with a lighter in its mouth
it tugs your sock too and runs about
like you’ve been everywhere

it barks at the mirror
full of fear
when you fart it straightens its ears
you go to the washroom, it rummages behind the toilet bowl
you write, it’ll knock out some nonsense
on the keyboard

a living dog
it’s lonely, covered with dust it follows you
a living dog
at best an imagination
is a mad man’s fiction

a man who suddenly can’t see his shadow
will be more fearful than a dog

today, a dog that has yet to learn more
dies, the dog is dead
why do so many people live
with hearts full of guilt  

"Ni de gou" © Yu Xiang. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Fiona Sze-Lorrain. All rights reserved.