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I Send Myself to You in Pieces


Xi Wa
Translated from Chinese by Ou Shilin

I send you my face.
It has been, hear me, exposed to this mortal world
for 40 years and more; praised, humiliated
and corroded under cosmetics, high-end or low-grade.
I am by no means shameless, nevertheless.
To bring credit to it I tough my way
through yesterday and today.
Take your time. You shall find on it
all the prices I have paid.

When you said: you, beautiful Chinese woman,
beauty was all that in your eyes.

I send you my hands.
They are long and slender; wearing blue nail polish,
taking on wrinkles. Later it will be macules.
What these hands do, so I put it, is to select
from large number of Chinese characters the ones
best matching their style, composing articles and poems
signed Xi Wa.
The praise and cold reception they have been met with,
put together, makes a difference.
They are the same hands that have trembled, hesitated;
been warm as well cold...
They cry, from time to time, incapable of shedding tears.
They might be in your life one day, with a lukewarm attitude.
I don't know what they can do for you.
 
You once said that you would not ask these sexy hands
to do anything for you, that you should be the one
doing something.

I send you my feet.
They are the most unsightly of my limbs.
Grew up in a badly-off household, my toes bent
and hunched up in short and small shoes.
They are still suffering even now
in a variety of shoes seemingly beautiful;
enjoying moments of comfort, only when I sleep.
They are not made for lengthy journey, but took my clumsy body
to many strange roads,
and to places which I should never have been.
They might take me to your city, and I shall,
in vain hope, return for barriers between us.

 You texted me English sentences. They are lengthy
and beyond my faculty of understanding.

I send you my breast, telling you
I am truly sorry that you missed the days when it was
most full and  luscious, that for 11 months it fed a child
and appeased several men in love;
that it is where they left their saliva and fingerprints.
For such a long time it has been of no use, except for embellishing
my more clothes. One day it will be just the skin,
cherishing no memories.
 
 You said you just loved this moment, even having
none of my lusciousness.

You wish me to be clear as why I should send myself
in pieces. Asoka Theme, the ending song of the film,
has all my explanation
that I would have said to you.

About the author:

Xi Wa, born in Tibet, is a much celebrated poet and lover of metaphysics. She is the author of the poetry collection I Send Myself to You in Pieces and six novels. Her works were translated into English, German, Indian, Japanese and Korean languages.







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