Damp memories

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


In a bar, she sat facing him.
He stared at her the entire time until the moment she stood up.
She walked over, placing a finger on his lips, and said: You should spit them out.
So he spits out all his memories, and they’re completely wet.
She threw them in the bin before she left…




Trong quán bia, nàng ngồi trước mặt hắn. 
Hắn nhìn nàng đăm đăm cho đến khi nàng đứng dậy. 
Nàng đến gần, đặt ngón tay lên môi hắn và nói: Chàng hãy nhổ chúng ra.
Và hắn nhổ ra tất cả những kỷ niệm, chúng đã bị ướt. 
Nàng ném chúng vào thùng rác trước khi bỏ đi…


APRIL 2020

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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