Thursday Poem

Ten Acres of Small Factories

Count from one to ten, from ten to a hundred, from a hundred to a thousand.
A thousand peach blossoms.
A thousand peonies.
A thousand winter plums.
They all look really beautiful.

A thousand buds opened from the country to the factories.
A thousand subtle scents delivered to the same verb.

Count from a second to a minute, from a minute to an hour.
From January to February, February to March.
From Spring’s Beginning to Mid-Autumn, from Mid-Autumn to Frost-Fall.
Be ready to count until the very first day
the flowers wither.

Night. Two kinds of light appear in the factory.
One is lighting for overtime work, the other is
a wicked wildfire from the corner of the Boss’s eye.
Oh, may neither dirty the girls’ green dresses.

On the employee cards there are two perfumes.
One is the sweet age of all the girls,
the other the sweat from the labor.

Payday, 10 acres of small factories, 10 acres of sesame fields in bloom.
10 acres of scent,
carried away by whom?

by Guo Jinniu
translation: Brian Holton
first published on Poetry International, 2015