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--- P H A N   N H I E N   H A O

On the last day of summer when it was very hot I walked out of the house with a piece of chalk. There was only one street filled with ugly houses uncomfortably facing each other. I walked down the middle wearing a bronze tintinnabulum so that blind men could avoid me. At the end of the street I stopped. There I had an appointment with an airplane with a single wing, a relative I had met only once, and a prophet who could no longer foretell dangerous omens. He was just a grasshopper with its legs broken. While waiting I drew a circle then hopped up and down performing the shaman’s rain dance. As usual all those I was waiting for would arrive late. There was only a child passing by. He had the look of an unused but accidentally exposed roll of film. Holding a long rod, he was beating the ground as he walked.

translated from the Vietnamese by Linh Dinh

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