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from the August 2019 issue


Divine and mortal love intertwine in this poem by Li Hao, one of a handful of contemporary Chinese poets writing forcefully and overtly about Christian themes.

I invited you too soon
to my city, because I wanted to live
with you, because I wanted

to find in your songs 
the Almighty’s power and love. Because I wanted
to know how you loved Him, and your

sweet former lives. I know your
bodies are the language the Lord bestowed upon me.
I see your unfamiliar riverbank

and walk toward you. I decide that I and the rows
of poplars will surround your place of prayer 
in a circle wider than the eye can see,

and the quiet lawn is like the sky, invisibly
rippling. On the lambs’ pasture, 

you play music, hover, fly out from the light 
to protect our fallen loves,
the injured Father in our souls.

"天使们"  © Li Hao. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Eleanor Goodman. All rights reserved.

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