Upper black lining

They say tanaung provides a cosy shade in the summer. Tamarind, a warm shelter for the winter.


The stilt house we are in is planked with timber from the hardwood trees that used to compete in tallness in their effort to get better exposure to the sun in the jungle. Termites are everywhere on the dense ground. I cook her rice with grains that used to weigh down the whole paddy field. That field is an industrial zone now.


A scribble on the Sagaing clay pot that rests on a wooden tripod in the corner of the room reads PER   ION. Should it read PERFECTION, the supreme quality of the Lord Buddha? Details aren’t important. The scribble in lime must have been the work of a tenant past.


What’s important is what remains in the future.


She weeps. I will have to toe off the poem stuck in her throat. Teardrops big and small will be replaced with neologisms. The hem of her sarong I cling on for life has no upper black lining at the waistline.


Sarongs, with no upper black lining, are good for all seasons.


If she will ever write a breakup letter, I request she write in Burmese.


Mother tongue hurts best.


ko ko thett