In the Subway by Lu Di – translated by Xu Jiantong

As molecules 
We are packed in the capsules of the train 
Condensed, we are out of breath 
As chemicals, we feed the earth 
That aches, cries, hits 
The grass and sings
We remain calm 
We call sentiment the 19th-century expression 
We are expressionless 
Our hands tucked into sleeves 
Our eyes downcast 
Infinitely complicated and generalized 
We are connected to the world with our index fingers 
The night, with the train roaring, has fallen 
And is getting late soon 
The water runs slowly and we sing dumbly 
My friend Cocoa says in the morning 
“His poems are bluer than you” 
And afterwards she says 
“An insider’s mood is even bluer”
I bury my face in a laughter for his casual humor 
I am in the back of Subway-9 Capsule 
There’s room around me 
The train shales me gently 
And evenly, I become one part of a pill 
And heal 
A night that loses tomorrow

Lu Di is a poet and visual artist from Zhejiang, China. As founder of Continents and Islands—Lab of Senses and Psychology, she has published two books of poetry and two books of essays. She is also the author of a collection of multi-media creations. Member of Zhejiang Writers’ Association and Zhejiang Artists’ Association.

Xu Jiantong, born in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province (China), is a poet and translator. She is the chief editor of Poetry Calendar. Her work has been published in literary journals in China. She won the Gold Award for International Mini-poetry Contest (2018) and one of her poems was selected by the sixth edition of Chinese Best Poetry (2017).