Castor by Li Suo – translated by Henry Zhang

I remember a plant with leaves

palm on outstretched palm

nine-fingered each

long I thought, without remembering its name

before I was decapitated

I shouted out

castor   castor

I remember he said something

about wanting to burrow

from my vagina to my womb

so that I’d be pregnant with him

give birth to him

so that I’d love him

as with a child

unconditionally and always

I remember saying nothing

a buzzing noise came from my mouth

like seeds being chewed to bits

castor   castor

Li Suo (1986) was born in Anhui, China. Suo holds a BA degree in Chinese literature from Xi’an International Studies University and MA degree from Beijing Normal University. She is currently the poetry editor at Xiron Press in Beijing.

Henry Zhang is a master’s student at Beijing Normal University. His criticism and translation have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, Music and Literature Magazine, Artforum, Drunken Boat, and Lunch Ticket. He is the recipient of the 2017 Henry Luce Fellowship, and his translations have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.