Ching Chang Chong

by chenrui

I mean, I don’t blame them. I mean, language
Has its limits, right? I mean, how could they
Ever say the silent swishing ‘x’ of
Xuě, as in blood, or, with an upward lilt,
Xué, to learn? I mean, how would they ever
Know what it means not to know, but to see
A rat come to life in ink and bones, bent
Back and pointed nose, in ten brushstrokes?
I mean, what’s lost in translation can’t be
Found. I mean, their skies don’t rest on
Pán Gǔ and the four legs of a giant turtle.
I mean, their rivers don’t flow with blinding
Yellow fury. I mean, their walls are only
Metres high, that fortify against ignorance.
I mean, they don’t know what they’re saying,
Much less how to say it. I mean,
It’s hard to say what I mean,
If you know what I mean.