For some years now, I have been standing quite close to death, almost face to face,
Standing dumb before my mother, my father, some dear people,
For some years now.
For some years now I do not know exactly whether I’m dead or alive,
For some years now the distinction between living and death
Has gone on reducing till it’s a thread now
Waving in emptiness.
For some years now the being that inhabits me within and without
Has been a horrible, dumb creature,
The last leaf long gone from its tree,
Spring gone forever from its life.
If I die tonight, don’t speak a word,
Only bury an epitaph under a shiuli tree somewhere,
An epitaph I’ve written over some years now,
An epitaph neatly written in white on a white sheet