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This life

Yi Mi Yi
Translated from Chinese by Shilin Ou

I need a house
to prove I have a home to return.
I need a husband
to prove I'm not alone.

I need pregnancy, delivery and raising children
to prove my gender has not been tampered with.
I need some documents
with red or green cover, or without
to prove I am legal.

I need some days
to prove I am alive, rather than dead.
I need pains to awake myself
after falling asleep.

I am in need. I'm not sure I love it all.
What I can be certain is I love far less
than I need to. For example, among household, husband,
children, documents, daily life and pains,
I can only confirm my love for the young ones.

There is a love burning away beyond need.
I am the only one aware of its existence.
Yet I can not tell, for love is
silenced. Love is eventually suffocated
in love.

About the author:

Yi Mi Yi is the author of the poetry anthologies No Place to Place and 100 Poems by Yi Mi Yi. Her works appear in major Chinese literature magazines Changjiang Literature, Poetry Periodical, Chinese Poetry and Poetry Dynasty, etc.

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