Lee Yat Hong

Fannou Poems: Aqua
Translated by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

At the end of this life,
you won’t know that
the saline solution you irrigated your eyes with that dusk
will in one hundred thousand years
become part of the first currents that change the seasons.

On the still dry seabed covered with asphalt,
we meet like whitebait.
Under the sea the white waves are like smoke.
Fish and seaweed disperse and gather again.
The lost goggles
will, several civilizations later,
replace the squawking of parrots
and preserve the sharp ringing of the ears.

Will future anthropologists
still know street and fish talk?
Will there be customs
that can stop forgetfulness and disappearance?
Will it be remembered that one thousand years ago,
                                 the currents were examined,
the water detained?

You pass me the bottled water and wet towels
 ‘Masks are no longer needed.’
The land continues to dry up.
Night cannot speak.
Sweat cannot drop.
We adopt the attitude of future whitebait,
inherit subtropical sorrow
and meet at
the puddle that takes us
                         to one hundred thousand years later.


Lee Yat Hong

Lee Yat Hong graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University with an undergraduate degree in Chinese Language and Literature and he is now studying a Masters of Philosophy at Hong Kong Institute of Education. He writes both poetry and prose and he will join the editorial team of Fleurs des lettres in 2015.

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is the founding co-editor of the Hong Kong-based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize and her translations have appeared in China Literature Today, Pathlight, CURA: A Literary Magazine or Art and Action,The Margins, among others. More at www.sighming.com.