A Landscape

translated by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern

One person’s landscape
is monotonous and desolate
in the eyes of passersby,
like a forgotten word in the ocean of a dictionary,
an incomplete image in a broken lens.

With my eyes closed, I learn how to paint
by myself and in solidarity with you in my soul,
brighter with every stroke.

A blind person’s landscape,
as it’s of one heart and mind,
is unfettered, unrestrained.

Even when imprisoned
you can reach
the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.


From Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Liu Xia. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press.