For Ian's translations of Than Nhien

Nguyen Duc Son

Tue Sy


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Co May Co May

Ian Bui
Translated by Ian Bui

Dream River (from "Mo Song")

when i said i dream rivers
didn't you understand
how mists hanging in hallowed streets
can suddenly burst into streams?

when i said i dream rivers
didn't you know that night is water
and i melt into fluids that flow into the river
liltingly as grass?

the river runs, and so do we
gracing suns and moons in our mouth—
suns that were murdered by God
and moons that rose from primeval fires,
earth and skies might become one
suppressing all traces of worldly desires.

the river runs, and so shall i
rushing away all human schemings;
the bank where love once washed her hair
has come under much overflowing.

i dream rivers—deserted streets
where youth's fantasies return
in wistful,
sudden streams.