Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Brown Hand Tanka

don't touch me
your hand looks dirty …
gaping at his injured boss
he leaves his own brown hand
suspended in midair

Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, XVI

for Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: The truth is we can survive our lives, but not our skin. But you know this already.

drinking with me
this grey-haired migrant bemoans
his skin color
the first thing he knew of 
and yet knew nothing about


the monks chanting
at a new temple
in this promised land
his Chinese eyes shiny
as gongs resound in his heart