by Shu Ting (tr. Carolyn Kizer)
In time's assembly line
Night presses against night.
We come off the factory night-shift
In line as we march towards home.
Over our heads in a row
The assembly line of stars
Stretches across the sky.
Beside us, little trees
Stand numb in assembly lines.
The stars must be exhausted
After thousands of years
Of journeys which never change.
The little trees are all sick,
Choked on smog and monotony,
Stripped of their color and shape.
It's not hard to feel for them;
We share the same temp and rhythm.
Yes, I'm numb to my own existence
As if, like the trees and stars
--perhaps just out of habit
--perhaps just out of sorrow,
I'm unable to show concern
For my own manufactured fate.