a city I’ve been to countless times
only getting lost is permanent
what with the taxi driver’s always-white gloves
and your irritation
coming back to your place
is always a challenge
we both know we keep quiet we smile we
both have the pressure of distance of home
fastidious as the rows of store clerks outside Keio Department Store
bending (not bowing) to us
not a crease in their stockings if those women
had a choice they would not be bending in our direction always
Tokyo is not a choice
me or them
Yau Ching. “永遠” from 大毛蛋 [Big hairy egg]. Hong Kong: Kubrick, 2011.
Chenxin Jiang translates from Chinese, German, and Italian. Recent translations include Tears of Salt: A Doctor's Story by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta (Norton), and The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution by Ji Xianlin (NYRB). She is currently translating poems by Yau Ching and Jiang Hao.