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Announcing the winners of our 2020 Poems in Translation Contest in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Read more.
from the June 2020 issue

On Masks

In two poems, Yu Jian considers the emotional and physical roles of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dearest

Great facial mask   
now is the time to tell you that I love you
my dearest
my little prison
take custody of my mouth


The Man without a Mask

I don’t have a mask
when I phone someone for help
I behave as if I don’t care
dignified expressions      like those in first-class cabins on a sinking ship


“至爱” and “无口罩者” © Yu Jian. By arrangement with the author. Translations © 2020 by Shuyu Guo. All rights reserved.

Read more work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from writers around the world.


Read more from the June 2020 issue
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