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from the August 2019 issue

I Want to Walk Toward the Altar of the Lord

A poem about suffering and the Divine by the Chinese poet Li Hao, whose first collection, The Tempest, was banned in China. 

The clamor of the dead on the wall
spin in the lobes of my lungs

the vault of heaven’s many
gears: corpulent

Leviathan of my soul,
covered in knifepoints, making the heavens

rain down iron nails. Eternal light
strikes upon the earth’s altars.

Lord, I am foolish,
I am suffering, and my body,

like a spoon, here on this earth, sweetly scoops out 
my brain.

"'我要走向上主的祭台'"  © Li Hao. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Eleanor Goodman. All rights reserved.

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