Sixteen writhing white lines,
Each looks different from the next.
Glimmering gracefully in the howling wind,
Unlit under the moonlight.
They sank into a pitch black recess,
Continuing their ceaseless writhing spin.
Now I count fifteen of them, one has been lost,
Their wailing won’t let me sleep, won’t let me sleep . . .
October 1991, Beijing
“تۈندىكى ساما” © Tahir Hamut. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Darren Byler and Anonymous Uyghur Translator. All rights reserved.