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  • Castor, and: Wednesday's Ship of Pearls
  • Li Suo (bio)
    Translated by Ming Di (bio)


I remember a plant with leavespalm on outstretched palmnine-fingered eachlong I thought, without remembering its namebefore I was decapitatedI shouted outcastor castor

I remember he said somethingabout wanting to burrowfrom my vagina to my wombso that I'd be pregnant with himgive birth to himso that I'd love himas with a childunconditionally and alwaysI remember saying nothinga buzzing noise came from my mouthlike seeds being chewed to bitscastor castor [End Page 67]

wednesday's ship of pearls

When autumn enters the constant hourI begin to crush and grindout the recipe for knowledgenot bitter enough, I thinkthese viscous memories chewed oncein a while should sufficemy silences I have to

swallow a fishbone, soundlessI have to stomachthat bit of rusted ironI think it best this lifebe spent on web-spinningdrawing endless radians on a bridgeso as to form that geometrycalled fortuneon a Wednesday, I will seea ship arrive, brimful of pearls [End Page 68]

Li Suo

Li Suo 里所 was born in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and lives and works in Beijing. She is a poet, translator, and editor at Xiron Publishing. She holds degrees from Xi'an International Studies University and Beijing Normal University.

Ming Di

Ming Di 明迪 is a Chinese poet based in the U.S. She attended Boston College and Boston University, where she taught Chinese. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese along with a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife (2012). She co-translated The Book of Cranes by Zang Di (2015) with Neil Aitken, and Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia (2015) with Jennifer Stern, which was a finalist for the 2016 Best Translation Book Award. She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (2013) and New Poetry from China 1917–2017 (2019). In 2013 and 2014, she received Henry Luce Foundation fellowships. A co-founder of Poetry East West journal, she serves as the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam. She has also translates from English into Chinese, most recently Observations by Marianne Moore (2018).



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