In the room with curtains
Of patterns of maple leaves
Was where the voice of the sea
Ended, and the pain begun.
Now the room is gone
And the shadows of maple
Leaves flutter over me,
Leaving me in wonder,
If it might have been
A brighter day by the sea.
Wild devotion, crowds flocking,
The whizzing and roaring in your head,
Can’t tell whether it’s hatred or ecstasy;
Invite them all, pass through them all
Like a startled butterfly, unasked, they will
Bring the torches and firewood.
They will light up your crimson key of heaven.
The broken dreams of the whole,
Can’t accept the brokenness of the world.
Can’t endure the darkness, the littleness, the silence.
Build yourself a pyre, burn yourself tonight.
XIUQI HUANG is a Masters student at the University of Edinburgh studying comparative literature. She is from Shanghai, China, and while she started out writing Chinese poems at a very young age, she has been writing poems in English for more than four years.