In That City

Hnin Yape Nwai | ယခုဆောင်းပါးကို မြန်မာဘာသာဖြင့် ဖတ်ရှုရန် ဤနေရာတွင် နှိပ်ပါ

Cite as: 
Hnin Yape Nwai. (2023). In That City. Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship, 4(1).

In that city,
When lilies yawned as usual,
Their mouths reeked of blood.

In that city,
The labor camp
A new version of the old Christian church
Tends to play record after record
Of unpleasant perceptual objects 1
Until the equator is unplugged.

The butchers’ sing-along
Of unwholesome songs
Enter the ears distastefully.

Drone Music?
Nuclear Art?

Thus as the cup of three calamities2 drunkenly fell over,
In the lives that were thrown away,
The human rights of that city
Of that city…
Of that city…
Everything dropped and wasted away one bit after another.

In that city,
Are what tanks crushed over
Or people’s lives?

In that city,
Is what the impoverished priest is holding
The Bible
Or the moldy bread?

In that city,
Is what a mother is moaning
Taylor Swift’s Love Story
Or Jesus’ name?

In that city
In that city on the military tactical map
In that city showered by atrocities In that city where lilies bleed profusely.


1 The original Burmese word here is derived from the Pali word aniṭṭhārammaṇa, which in Buddhist philosophy refers to any object of perception which causes aversion. In general Burmese language usage, it connotes bloody images.
2 In Buddhist mythology, the world will be destroyed three times by three great calamities of fire, water and wind in each aeon.