Of Mixed Race

The fading mirage,
The offspring of those poor and clandestine tribes,
Amidst the great mountains and flowing rivers,
Draws from her meagre store of adjectives
To lift up their much envied voices singing,
That sound like chains of gleaming golden coins.
More precious than the golden coins, the sacrifice,
In return, she obtains a little joy at least;
She is revelled by ambition
That her prominent cheekbones are burnt by the setting sun,
And one by one plums fall away,
Her bones are crooked,
And yet she stands atop all else.

Please grant this land,
Allowing her to be true and honest — aimlessly,
To sing spontaneously and mournfully,
About the night of betrayal.
At the shattering of her youth,
Warm tears of despair dropped
That swallowed up her beatified self.
This incompatible crown,
The closest symbol,
Rising high against her fear of the world,
For her mission is to be a shining self, a priestess
Of that lone rite,
And she may ask at last: “Is that it?”
“Shall it too be taken away?”

Translated by Tenzin Losel and Bhuchung D. Sonam.


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