For Ian's translations of Co May

Nguyen Duc Son

Tue Sy


In the photo, Than Nhien is seated on the left. On the right is Ian Bui, the translator.


For more Poetry

Than Nhien and Ian Bui Than Nhien

Translated by Ian Bui


They pulled
from my soul and between
your thighs

a reptilian fetus
an unwinged angel
a feeble termite
a hideous, yellowed
stain on the clinic's wall
a diseased lifebud asphyxiating
an afternoon floating in a daze

I plant flowers and make poemsó

once I saw terrified young girls
trembling through that door
then at night dreamed of tiny angels
walking their first steps
and morphed larvae taking flight
after a rain

The walls have been repainted with a new color
I've sterilized these lines
like a doctor sterilizing his implementsó
jaded by the slamming of doors
that open to the chapel of conscience

Stupefied, dawn!