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by Yau Ching
Translated from Chinese by
Chenxin Jiang
Issue 31 Online Exclusive

時空時間如影在路英文的思念叫長我長—長——的想妳垂下兩隻袖兩隻褲腳伸長手指腳指伸長每一條頭髮與眉毛拖在地上如根一隻黑鳥飛過細細的影子在樹葉子散落一地中文的寂寞叫空一張白白的稿紙「喂,再來情詩三首!」半透明沒一個影子世界很大而我短短的坐在這裏 愈坐愈透明沒有文字可填滿我四面八方的空與前前後後的長

Time is like a shadow cast on the road

the English word longing has length in it

I long——long———for you

My sleeves pant legs fingers and toes stretch out

every single hair on my head and brow

stretches downward trailing on the ground like roots

a black bird flies past

casting its slender shadow on the tree

Leaves scatter


The Chinese word for loneliness is emptiness

an empty sheet of lined paper

“hey you, three more love poems!”

translucent it has no shadow

the world is big and for now I am

sitting here growing more transparent

no words can fill up

how empty I am on all sides

and, in front and behind, how long




Yau Ching. “時空” from 大毛蛋 [Big hairy egg]. Hong Kong: Kubrick, 2011.

Born in Hong Kong and educated in Hong Kong, New York, and London, Yau Ching is a poet, filmmaker, and scholar. She has authored more than ten books including The Impossible Home (2000), which won the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature. Her website is

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.