do consume me to nourish yourself. do feel gratitude to me

In various sizes of porcelain dishes on the dinner table covered with big, beautiful table-cloth.

My popping hot limbs seem to be delicious.

They are prepared well for beauty and taste.

All families gather happily. Holding hands,

they make prayers. I feel a spoon which touches my big toe,

I also make prayer. The candle-light. Half-floating oily nose of mine

in the soup dish is reflected.

The man at the head of the table who seems to be the chief of the family, smiling at

the woman who seems to be his wife, pressing the cheek of the fish with tomato sauce,

slices it with knife. This cheek, under my cute lover’s kisses,

shined with blood, I remember. My upper lip drops down onto the handkerchief

on the lap of my youngest daughter who plays now, who eats then.

Amen.

The chief’s kitchen which must be ordered some days in advance.

There are many chiefs. They are busy with my limbs. They sweat.

It is said that the new curry made of my scapula fleshes are cooked with molasses and damson wine,

and covered with sliced pieces of onion is ordered much during these days.

And it is also said that it is cheap. My whole-flesh­­­-curry prepared in big dish

on the table in the special dining room.

Among the fruits beautified on the edge of the dish it is just enough to cover shame.

The curry is so expensive that it is ordered only in gathering parties.

It is my whole-flesh-curry. The big sunflower planted in my mouth for beauty.

It blooms at the touch with my tongue. When pieces of my flesh turn scrip,

it is taken out and sieved with the huge sieve and drained. My calf-hairs in the air-conditioned room.

Unshaved left calf of mine is taken out by the young chef.

With this left calf, I scored goals, I remember.

The uneven tarred roads. Green lawns.

In the kitchen of the small house with dim-light, in the steel bowl on wooden table

my flesh is mixed with potatoes. Some of my bones are cooked for soup with roselle.

In the meal added with pounded chili, children enjoy food greedily.

Looking this, the housewife rejoices. The child

who felt hot takes a spoon of soup, then takes out my ring finger of the dish of soup,

and then he bites the bone and suck the flesh on the bone.

That I changed rings on this little ring finger of mine, I remember.

The old housewife, for her husband, who has not come back from work yet,

reserved dish, and keeps it in the larder.

In the dish, the fatty flesh of my thigh is leaning against a piece of potato.

In the spot of that thigh there was mange once, they don’t know.

The dog behind my house will be waiting for the remnants of my bones.

The resounding ceremony of donation is with the fragrance of the country. Country folks.

For the donation, many lives of mine are killed by the butcher swords and harpoon.

Curries of my flesh: some are cooked in oil. The chunk of my flesh is fist-sized.

Some are steamed. Some, fried. It being a great donation ceremony, not only the whole village

but the villages nearby come. No household need to cook.

There are many guests. Sweats on the donors’ body. Smiles on the donors’ face.

The curry of my flesh is the one of which eater’s belly is kissed by the dog.

Not only they eat the curry in the donation ceremony but they take the curry to their houses

with food carriers, small and big. My flesh in donation.

After sharing merit of donation by pouring water, on the tables of Buddhist monks,

the curries of my flesh are prepared well.

The curry of my heart and gizzard cooked just for monks. My heart was ever broken,

was ever hard, was ever hurt, was ever burnt, was ever shaken.

When offering the table of alms food to the monk, the table is too heavy to lift.

The word that I love you so much that even my heart will be breached

is heard by my ears in the salad dish.

All things to eat… well-done, well-done, Phayar.

With the gunpowder smell and smoke is the battlefield. Because of grudge, we make war.

Because of belief, we make war. For the sake of nationality and religion, we make war.

For the sake of peace, we make war. Here in these regions, my flesh is rare.

The nutriment for the people in this region almost lacks my flesh.

Fleshes are exchanged. This is the age when flesh is exchanged with rice.

The age when flesh is exchanged with cloth. The age when flesh and bullet.

My flesh ever passed. My flesh soup for the wounded and sick soldiers

gave nutrition to pull the trigger. In the parcel of cooked rice

shared to the war victims, my flesh is raffle ticket, my flesh is gold.

That the citizens are poor because there is no peace,

because they are oppressed, because they are exploited

great brain which has ever been into the tray of the stuck poke knows this well.

When war breaks, my flesh is put into the grinding machine and produced as tin.

That the poor are mass production, my brain which has ever been taken out of its head

on the table and eaten knows well.

That in this kind of situation, the classes who never ate my flesh increase

and the type of persons who say that my flesh is just for dogs, too,

over-cooked great brain of mine with much mortar in the steel plate does not forget.

In the front line, my flesh is like the stars on the shoulder. My flesh holds a high rank.

Chetkyi, saying that the curry of my flesh found rarely is just for their generals,

orders a young private to bring the curry to them.

Onto the path where the young treads, an artillery shell falls.

The young private is separated from my flesh curry. A piece of my flesh curry blown away

falls into the Talabaw soup in the military food carrier with a slight splash.

When the battle ends, which young private will be lucky?

To conclude my words about my flesh, it is breakfast or light food for some in the whole world.

My flesh meets with lettuce in between two layers of bread, with cheese,

with various kinds of jam. False flesh of mind is produced, for vegetarians, they say.

Some religions prohibit easting my flesh. They detest my flesh.

Indeed my flesh is edible nutriment for everyone from any religious background.

The tribes who eat my flesh without cooking it is very rare. Some tribes,

in great hotels, cover my flesh with ice, with squeezed lime juice to eat it raw.

My flesh for some is said to smell rank. Some does eat any meal without my flesh.

Some offer my flesh to Buddha forever. Some refrain from eating my flesh in auspicious days.

Some, with determined string of beads, does not touch my flesh.

My flesh used to be married to noodle, too, to vermicelli, too, with mokebat, too.

My stomach is applied with cabbage, with bean sprouts, with bean cake. My legs

have been soup. Similarly my hands have been steamed with rice.

My head has been cooked with bean, and they seem to enjoy it. My flesh and rind are red on the iron hook.

My tendon is tenderized in the earthen pot on the lightly burning embers. My flesh is put

in rice-soup. My flesh is pickled.

My flesh is rolled with cooked rice and wrapped with pieces of moss. It is quite popular now.

My flesh is roasted in parties. My flesh is packed with sticky rice, with lead.

The roasted flesh of mine is match with beer so much. The watery curry of my flesh

is the drunkards’ favorite.  My flesh of fetus sells well in a fair price.

The oil gotten by sieving me can make hair strong and dark, they say.

It can cure dizziness and headache, they say. To eat my flesh, they breed me. They rear me.

To enjoy me body, they create methods of cooking curry. In some regions, in some countries,

I am given sanctuary. In some houses, I am raised to protect their houses as substitution.

Some beautiful girls caress me, holding me in their arms. Because I bite,

many people went mad. But I don’t know. I and my flesh are not only fruitful

but bad. Due to my flesh some become rich and some make wars.

My flesh is… Let’s eat something delicious.

Now, daily on my table, my flesh is being cooked well.

My fingers are consuming my fingers.

I can’t help eating my flesh.

I bite my flesh with my own teeth. I chew my flesh in my mouth.

It is very delicious to chew my tongue in my mouth.

My belly is full of the curry made of my viscera.

My muscles are strong due to my flesh.

Due to my fat and my rind, the weight my body increases.

How my brain is rich in taste can make mind fresh.

When I am biting my forearm bone, I am on my table. I am munching.

My curries of which mind and matter are rotten.

The mouth in the dish I am trying to chew is three great words, which speak to me.

DO CONSUME ME TO NOURISH YOURSELF.

DO FEEL GRATITUDE TO ME.

Tay Khat
Translated from the Burmese by Ke` Su Thar