Translations in Survival

by Jewel Cao

I became a boat, became
            closed scope, became

static. 

Does the water not move,
still, in waves? 

I became a road, became
            oil and bone, became

static. 

Do the cherry blossoms not spill,
still, like a watermelon cracked 
open with a mallet?

I became a home, became
            soap and lye, became

static. 

Is the woman cycling downhill not,
simply, a woman cycling downhill? 

I became a rope, became
            a poem, bound

static.

What I’m trying to say is

static.