by Ming Di
She never knew love made for such cold winters.
She hides in the room she painted for herself,
tuning, listening, as music spreads pain
like spiderwebs down her legs.
She walks from one corner to another,
the room grows bright with sunlight, or moon,
stabbing her with needles.
She paints a wall. Erases. Paints again.
A wall grows like leaves emerging in winter.
She wants to paint a wall around the wall
to guard a memory, then
paint flowers and birds, mountains and oceans— a wave
swirls around like a wreath, circling up,
I see myself in that room, struggling. “Paint a window,”
I tell her, a window that leads to the sky.
Paint a sky.
Translated by Ming Di with Sylvia Burn and Katie Farris.
"A Room of Her Own," from RIVER MERCHANT’S WIFE by Ming Di. Copyright © 2012 by Ming Di. Used by permission of Marick Press.