Nguyễn Văn Thiện | HORSES, PEOPLE, WHITE CLOUDS (23)

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By Nguyễn Văn Thiện, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm 

HORSES, PEOPLE, WHITE CLOUDS

Out on the patio, I fell asleep dreaming of people on white horses atop the trees. Then quietly the people left, the jittery horses remained dug in their hooves. The horses never wanting to stay long, since staying, is to bear the unbearable coolness of the spring breeze, so after some pause, they left. In the morning their hoofprints would stay as fresh as those remaining footprints behind in the alley. There now on the canopy, where the horses waited, a gecko mumbling, oh for heaven’s sake. I ground my teeth: “Why didn’t you wake me? Which direction did the horses go?”. The gecko didn’t stop grumbling “Who told you to sleep face down!”. I wanted to throw a rock at it but stop. I slept with my face in the pillow; I can’t blame anyone…

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