Du Tử Lê | Take me to the sea when I’m gone – Khi tôi chết hãy đem tôi ra biển

A translation for my father.

I’ve learned the poem through my father, as a teenager never fully grasp the profound yearning and sadness in Du Tử Lê’s poem. Until I had translated the very last line, I finally had a glimpse of my father’s pain and the pain of soldiers like him; “The eternal exile of my soul”.

I am sorry, I am sorry for your pain, I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry it has taken me so long, I am sorry it has taken an entire lifetime.