Xu Lizhi (1990-2014), “On My Deathbed”
From libcom.org via Alexis Madrigal’s 5 Intriguing Things
I want to take another look at the ocean, behold the vastness of tears from half a lifetime
I want to climb another mountain, try to call back the soul that I’ve lost
I want to touch the sky, feel that blueness so light
But I can’t do any of this, so I’m leaving this world
Everyone who’s heard of me
Shouldn’t be surprised at my leaving
Even less should you sigh or grieve
I was fine when I came, and fine when I left.
Xu Lizhi was so young for such powerful words.
Did you click on the libcom link, Christina? It tells the back story of this poem — Xu Lizhi was one of dozens of Chinese migrant workers driven to suicide (in his case, at age 24) by dehumanizing working conditions. He just happened to have documented his experiences in pretty remarkable poetry. https://libcom.org/blog/xulizhi-foxconn-suicide-poetry