Featured Poem

Shoulder to Shoulder

You say ladies first
and shame us all.
We are not here
to stand like donkeys
and be silent at your words.
You measure strength
by who can wear
a twenty-foot longyi,
by the man who can take
what he wants, the man
who walks like the tiger.

Carry a baby inside you.
That is the meaning of power.
Your own blood falling every month.
That is the meaning of courage.

Just give me your cold shoulder
not your anger. Never mind
the old man who thinks
he can balance a woman
on his knee like a pot
because he can still carry
a handful of rice.
Don’t tell me again about your snake.
Didn’t your mother tell me what a child you are?

You ask for give and take and then forget
to explain the rules. You try to look down on me
when I’m beneath you. I know that you
won’t save me if I fall into the darkness

In the balance of my tenderness
and your cruelty, it will always be my tenderness
that wins. Inside our bedroom,
let the riots break out and the bombs explode.

In this film, the picture stammers in and out
of focus. There is interference.
There is too much static between us.
If you won’t start the revolution,
if you won’t undress, I will.

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About the translation:
Poet:
Moon Thu Eain
Translator:
Kim Moore
Original language:
Burmese
Issue:
2015 Number 2 - I WISH...

About the author

Original poet

Moon Thu Eain

Moon Thu Eain (b.1995) was just a teenager when she wrote ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ three years ago and she represents a third wa...

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Translator

Kim Moore

Kim Moore's first pamphlet 'If We Could Speak Like Wolves' was a winner in the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and w...

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