Translated by Nguyen Tien Hoang
from the original version in Vietnamese, “Tháng tám”
August runs like a fugitive
The indelible mark on the finger
eating into the past, like a corrosion.
New green foliages on the street
are needles hurting the eyes.
Half a sky on the road flowing backwards
You found yourself lost
beside a steeping side-street
among the footprints of a kind of songbirds
in the shape of a rainbow.
The monsoon season carries on its back the sadness
hidden deep between hair-strands.
You are drunk with the night
lending half your hand for the losses, one
You says “em về...”
You wish for a return
green shades and hues of years past
on the frame that stands, steadfast.
A shadow looks at itself, in love, almost
through the long glances of a man.
What’s there in August?
I gather all my strength breathe in the smells of paint
from your hand,
throw myself in the direction of rain
falling, along the street shopfronts.
There’s a swing-chair, old-honey coloured
laughter days, one would have thought
pain is in the mind.
August clings on to the scents of the white camelias
gently, gently flirting
with the shades of a woman
who lives pinning her imagined loneliness to the wall
saying Lovely! How lovely!
as if confirming devotion and love to God.
There is another two hundred days to try,
- almost -
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