A savour of slow-cooked fish in the wind
brushes over the listless colors of shirts.
The day floating over a background
of street sounds dims on the window pane.
It’s not a sleep. Waking up late I hear
voices fading where a hallway ends.
And the lingering scent of the passing day
which seems either to begin or to end.
Although asphalt roads exceed dirt roads
all things are never silent.
A slow music. It’s not solitude
invisible and knowing where to go.
The colorful walls mute as they are,
the chorus spreads slowly in a circle.
Afternoon gains its steady voice. Such full breath.
Those set to go and those remaining
after a moment of clamour are all quiet.
Thus the light, nailed at some other place
trickles down more and more thickly.
A Saturday or Monday of the week
is melodious as it could have never been.
From the Vietnamese original “Mùa xuân trong thành phố,” published on Da Màu December 24, 2008