Something More Distant by Yu Nu – translated by Pan Jiawei

I do not know where
“oneness”, “present”, or “eternity” come from.
They are carved out on a piece of ivory.
A baby born just an hour ago cries
searching for mother’s breast, 
where solitude and attachment come from.
A star is turning into a white dwarf.
An absolute pyramid and the physics behind it.
I know many things that happen
on the other planet, but not
what happens here. I take a pause
in a bleak moment. A fire in an impossible 
solid state. A frozen cod. 

Yu Nu is a Chinese poet and critic. He has published four books of poetry, including The Night Watcher (1999), Yu Nu: A Collection of Short Poems (2008), The Host and the Visitor (2014), and The Snail (2019). As a critic, he writes about contemporary Chinese poetry and has published two collections of essays, The Poetics of Chaos and Conversations (2020) and Poetry and Non-Poetry (2021). He was awarded the Red Rock Literary Prize in 2016 and the Yuan Kejia Poetry Award in 2019. Yu Nu currently lives in Anhui, China.

Weijia Pan is a poet, writer, and translator originally from Shanghai, China. Prior to entering the MFA program in poetry at the University of Houston, he studied comparative literature at UCLA, then worked as an education consultant for high schools in China. He writes in English and Chinese.