Ordinary Days

Lock secrets in a drawer
write notes in my favorite book
put a letter in the mailbox and stand silent awhile
gazing after passers-by in the wind, worry about nothing
eyes caught by a shop window’s neon flash
insert a coin into a pay phone
bum a cigarette from and old man fishing under a bridge
from a river steamer a vast empty foghorn
stare at myself in a dim full-length mirror
in the smoke of a cinema entrance
as window curtains muffle the noisy sea of stars
open some faded photos and letters under the lamplight

  — Bei Dao (b. 1949), “Northern Island”, is the pseudonym of Chinese poet Zhao Zhenkai (???).