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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 18:32 – I’m not like you

Lê Vĩnh Tài, the Vietnamese poet and translator born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

I’m not like you

.

since you

may abandon me

when I have nothing left to give

.

What about me?

Me?

me

How could I abandon

myself?

.

How could I

abandon

a body my parents

has given me.

_____

tôi không thể như bạn

.

vì bạn

có thể rời bỏ tôi

khi đã hết vui

còn tôi?

tôi?

tôi

làm sao có thể từ bỏ

chính tôi?

làm sao tôi

từ bỏ

xác thân mẹ cha

đã ban tặng cho mình…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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