Whispering by Yu Nu – translated by Pan Jiawei

Below the bridge, a snake swims,
its head up, staring at me for a few seconds.
I feel like it is imparting 
a kind of message (this is totally possible)
but I can’t tell what it is.
Over the bank, starlings,
stray cats and crickets crying.
The beauty of speakers of different languages 
not communicating — who makes it so?
Those are all spatial issues. And these as well.
For so long I have stood on the bridge,
feeling the faint radiation from a meteor.

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.