Eat Cloth – Liu Xingli

translated by Xi Nan



People who always break within a sentence    

are usually. due to, exhaustion.

A grey bird accompanies her, flies here,

and flies away. More commas and periods   

will provide more comfort. Comma is a 

small tree stump, and a period is a 

swimming ring.  


Eat Cloth

I dreamed of being with someone. I started to

eat cloth. He looked at me in surprise. I

told him. I have eaten cloth before when I was hungry.

In the afternoon, I can’t remember any more.

What I ate could be a white vest.


Leaving a Scar

At noon when I was seeing the dentist

She asked how was the day

I said that work was not good

She said

Sweden hasn’t got any good job

Every workplace is a catastrophe  

Trust me

At dinner

I talked about the conflict with my boss

My child chimed in:

Don’t leave a scar! (between the relationship)

I tried to justify

Child said disdainfully

I’m only saying that don’t leave a scar


She called me to her room and see

The clouds in the sky

There’s one stretching


Like writing brush strokes falling on paper

She said

(That piece of cloud)

So beautiful

Like a scar


Zhao Nana

Zhao Nana is sitting

On a bus

She dreamed about kissing

A singer last night

The touch of tongue

Felt meaty

After the kiss

She woke up

Looked at the alarm clock

It didn’t ring at supposed time

Then Zhao Nana remembered

Someone –

After watching the intimacy of a couple

On the opposite building 

Used an alarm clock

To assist himself to masturbate

Why not

She thinks

Roadside snow hasn’t melted yet

The bus is packed with people

She vaguely feels herself

Still mating face to face

With a beloved man

His long penis is 

Like a long tube

As if it’s stretching upwards

From under the 

Bus seat


Rain and Umbrella

It is raining

I put an umbrella in the meeting room

Opened for air-dry, because no

Better place was found. I can’t concentrate on work, so deal with

Some things relate to my child. Singing class

I ask in the email where for the child to sing. How many people are singing at the same time. My child could only

Arrive after 16:15. To sing for how long?  

And for the swimming group. How many people are in there? Do they need a special

Swimsuit? The old lady who was responsible for registration said

All swimmers use tampons. A simple and rough

Answer is not too much trouble.

At this time I found that my umbrella is thrown out of the door, like a

Giant mushroom growing there. I hate the person who threw my umbrella out.

Throw it out of space if you can. I hate that he shouldn’t have thrown it in the way. 

Just as he hates that I shouldn’t have put the umbrella in the tiny meeting room.

Which had blocked his ass and legs and his already bad mood.

The office here is very silent. Occasionally there’s sound of

Someone biting an apple.


About the Author: Liu Xingli (刘兴丽), has published several short stories in magazines in China. Her hometown is Jingzhou, Hubei, China, and she currently lives in Sweden.

About the Translator: Xi Nan (Nancy) 西楠, born in China, writes and translates, author of different genres. Latest hybrid texts: Brandy (published by Alien Buddha Press). Her Twitter is: @XiNan_Nancy