often by the sea

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Often by the sea, she stares at the sky, the blood drops traumatising each and every grain of sand.

As the blood escaped, she would lower her head, bowing solemnly to welcome them. Breathless and warm. The remains of the blood drops were revealed as tides withdrew, with the early morning breeze.

On the sand, were the footprints of the drops of blood washed away by the tides.

Left was not a trace.

_____ 

Với biển, nàng hay nhìn lên bầu trời, những giọt máu ám ảnh cả những hạt cát.

Khi giọt máu chảy ra, nàng cúi đầu chào nó. Ấm nóng và ngạt thở.

Thi thể của giọt máu được tìm thấy sau khi thủy triều rút đi, với làn gió sớm.

Trên bờ cát, dấu chân của giọt máu rửa trôi đi trong thủy triều. 

Không còn dấu vết.

_____

JANUARY 2021


Lê Vĩnh Tài, the poet and translator born in 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands and a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet, and translator, was born in 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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