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The Wooden Horse

by Tong Wei
Translated from Chinese by
Stephen Haven & Li Yongping
Issue 24 Online Exclusive

Its pearly eyes gaze through the window.
It only hears the toothed sunlight grind leaves.
They drift to the ground like the winds’ ears.
Dizzy, blindfolded by children,
The horse swirls around, carried by a somnambulist.
“If this is dreaming, don’t let me stop.”

From its wooden muscles
Oozes a crooked smile,
Laughter choked by children.
Time tocks out of its darkness
Then it surfaces, the shriveled face:
“No, no, it’s not like this.”

Does not open its dumb mouth.

Author
Tong Wei was born in Beijing in 1956. She has published two volumes of poetry: When the Horse Turns Its Head (1988) and Revenges on Dream Addicts (2012).
Translator
Stephen Haven a writer and translator. His collection of poetry, The Las Sacred Place in North America, was selected as winner of the 2010 New American Press Poetry Prize. He has published other collections of poetry, a memoir, and collaborative translations of contemporary Chinese poetry. He is Professor of English at Ashland University.
Translator
Li Yongping was born on April 7, 1947, in Kuching, located in Sarawak on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. He received his early education in Malaysia. In 1966 he published the short story “Son of Borneo,” which won the Borneo Literature Bureau Prize. The author of several novels, he is also a prolific translator. He has translated more than twenty-five pieces of Western works, ranging from classical to popular literature.