Men Out of Step with the Times by Wang Yin – translated by Andrea Lingenfelter

You tell me you miss those
slow paced days of the past
the equally leisurely pace of bicycles
and leaky wristwatches

We’re both out of step with the times, lifting our old-fashioned cups of coffee
drinking a cup to Caroline, another to poverty
drinking a toast to the season of mental confusion
another to the unrelenting snowfall
and another to the listening devices of yore
The last cup we drink is to ourselves
men out of step with the times

You should know how happy it makes me to imagine you
in an utterly unfamiliar city
like Jerusalem or Marrakesh, or Johnson, Vermont
or some other city whose name neither of us can pronounce
And some day when my head is in the clouds
I might happen to run into you on a rainy street

Thus, when I pause for a moment while writing you
it’s just me with my head in the clouds again
As soon I send the email, that’s when
the relentless wind and rain
come to a halt at last