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from the November 2018 issue

A Chair on a Highway on a Rainy Afternoon

A piece of furniture in an unusual location sparks a series of interrogations.   
 

a velvet chair

            standing by itself

                        on a highway

a chair standing by itself on a highway

            means its life is over

a life of ups and downs

            before it was brought here

                        and left beside the grass

nevertheless

            it was laid down squarely

                        maybe

                                    thanks to a final gesture of love

with all four legs standing against the asphalt

this whisks an image to my mind:

            a wandering soul who leisurely sits here

                       between the passing cars

                                   and the mud

but surely no soul can be so foolish

            as to come and sit on a torn old abandoned chair

                        on a dark cold rainy September afternoon

                                    on a lightless highway

or

to give the chair

a little consolation

I conclude as follows:

 

            there exists such a soul

            it’s just that he, or she, is

                        not here

                        not now
 

The author thanks Kaitlin Rees for her assistance with the translation.

“Cái ghế giữa xa lộ vào một buổi chiều mưa” first published in Tiền Vệ (www.tienve.org). © P.K. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2018 by P.K. All rights reserved.

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