Lê Vĩnh Tài | SAIGON IN LOCKDOWN (25/56)


By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translated by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


gently gently as gently as gently goes

a heart like yours inevitably suffers so

leave the Sun to its liberty

allow your laughter to roam free

until the air is light 

allows the tangerine leaves to take flight


gently gently, you should be

the coveted clouds beneath the brows

your eyes are in the dark now

the city under house arrest

thus when will you be new year’s eve

amongst the drifting incense upon the dawn of the first


lightly you step hindered by fate

afraid the readers may slip off the bridge of your nose


the delivery person is not someone who’s seeking a place to hide

they bring with them the sympathies

collecting the delivered fees


easy, take it easy please

when faced with

the destruction of a citadel


(October 2021)

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