Wu Xueya – The moon is a leaf falling from the cosmos – translated by Mimi Chang

Igdra restores the universe
by planting trees.
Light rushes through the trees
as the hours of time are renewed 
constantly. Space ages.

Baldur, god of light,
kind and gentle,
lets Odin open the dark door
releasing a swift horse.

But Nidhogg, king of destruction,
bites on the trees.
The trunks shake, leaves fly around,
moon becomes a leaf in the air.

Through the horse comes the sound of the fallen leaf
as if an accordion plays and reflects
and in the reflection Balder and Odin create
moon over and over again—
the first leaf falling into our sky.


Wu Xueya, Buyi nationality, was born in 2010 in a mixed village in Guizhou Province of China. His father is ethnic Buyi and his mother is Hmong nationality. Influenced by his uncle Meng Yifei, he started writing poems at age 8. He has been widely published in China and has gained praises for his mature writing at such a young age. He published his first book of poetry, Nothing Likely, at age 11 in 2021. He lives in Guangxi with his mother. 

Mimi Chang is a Chinese poet living in the USA. She has published widely in literary journals in China. She translates poems and literary essays and organizes the annual Hu Shi Poetry Award in China.