translated by Julia Sanches

The light retires to the lamp
and suddenly all is dark again
who out there has caught the night-moth
and instructs it in shadow?

After countless drills
the torn-winged moth
no longer knows how to fly
and trails through the twilight
crawling snail-slow
toward the light.

Originally published in the July 2018 issue of Words Without Borders. Copyright © Yao Feng. Used with permission of the author. Translation © 2018 by Julia Sanches. All rights reserved.