Floating Island

By Mamang Dai

The sloping mountain is trying to reach me
stretching down into the water.
Dear one, don’t go away.
Rest, rest on my shoulder.

Deep in my centre a woman is asleep
pressing her cheek on my pillow
vivid with dreams.
The birds of summer are nesting in her breast.

Who knows which way the spinning current will spin.
Farewell, blind mountain, pasted on the sky,
when the day is folded away
my heart clings to the life of water.

Into the deep, into the sea green
navigating on a heartbeat,
the lilies are shooting up like swordfish
and the woman is laughing, laughing.

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