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Banishment By Bei Ling

August 27, 2000

Banished at time's end

the arm's bend poised with

memory's bow

needing to shoot down this sky

and its foreign identity

with my mandarin character

Tireless sky vast sky

vigorous sky firm and steadfast

holding unspeakable and devouring

commands

with memory screams in the solitude of winter

Rejecting shame

I saw the shame that I tried to forget

harboring mission

scattered sight

my reading stops to gaze

Memory has no need for time

one experience loathes the next

The clock whines

blaming me, blaming itself

Night's wheels grind

the past to sandgrains

and stone

with its deathless root

coils under us stubbornly

the long suppressed fervor

aroused by betrayal

at the end of exile

like an infinite omen

over this nation's domain

TRANSLATED BY WANG RONG AND ANASTASIOS KOZAITIS

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