POETRY BY LEE YUK SA, Translated by Sekyo Nam Haines

O Plantain

Ever ailing, my breath drifts lazily today
above the silver waves like a moon over the ocean.

O Plantain, lift your long green sleeve,
and wet my burning lips with your moist tenderness.

Long ago, we were two separate souls, parted
without a word on that last day of the Saracen kingdom.

The young women’s firm and slender hands at the cuffs of your sleeves,
the delicate lines in their palms still weaving their dreams.

Each time when you saw the new flowers and the constellation afar,
how often have you tried to re-imagine the forgotten seasons?

Oh, better a thousand years from now, on this autumn night,
you and I together, let’s measure how long the sound of rain is!

As dawn comes, somewhere in the sky, a rainbow will rise—
treading on that rainbow, let us return to our endless parting.

Translators note; plantain leaves resemble the sleeves of Korean women’s traditional blouse.

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