Poem| Akhu Chingangbam

Artwork : Matthew Bialer 

Embrace Me Burma

Burma, if you have a heart
Embrace me please
I have stopped looking at my own shoes
Now I look beyond these lofty mountains
I see nothing in them except a handful of useless dust
I stop looking towards west
To me it is all just a waste
I stop leaning on India
Delhi crushed me among its skyscrapers and DTC buses
Mumbai left me stranded in the railway tracks
Bangalore didn't let me smoke at my own will
Kolkata is perpetually revolutionary.
Tamil Nadu is still mourning for Prabhakaran
Madhya Pradesh is still a nightmare after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Gujarat is for Modi and his fundamentalism
Pune is for Marathis
And we have been the niggers of India;
Read Pacha. 

Burma if you need a lover
That's me
Embrace me
kiss me please
Let me spread my wings in your poppy fields
Let me sail in your smallest river with all my songs
Let me cry out all the tears that I save in this punctured heart
Let me shit out what I have eaten
I have eaten what did not grow in my land
I ate hilsha from the Barak River
I ate wheat that grows in Uttar Pradesh
I slept on the mattress that was made in Delhi
I sang Guthrie and Seeger
I wear VIPs
I drank 8pm from Haryana at 8am in morning
I danced to the songs of Indian Ocean
I climbed the Western Ghats with Iranians
I smoked the dry leaves of Manali
I watched both Hollywood and Bollywood movies
And still I was my own man standing alone
Singing "Ema Nangumbi Leite"

Now, I can't praise my land with my poverty
Now I need a new land
That can erase my appetite and memories
And Burma that's you
You are the closest. 

Burma, let me see your prisons
And feel I suffer less
Less than your outlaws and criminals
I was told you dump your criminals in a Polang
Like chickens in Chingmeirong Bazaar

Burma, embrace me
Let me wear that bamboo hat
Like farmers that farm everything
You will not regret to be my lover
No great poet wrote a line for your Tamu
And cheap sex inside your wooden cabin.
But I do, if you don't believe me
Look at e-pao.net
You will find me whistling, singing
Like my favourite gay poet:
Go fuck yourself with your AFSPA
Along the Indo-Myanmar border. 

Burma, just give me  shelter
You are the closest.
Let me measure the angles of the Golden Triangle
Let me snort cocaine, let me smell you
Let me bleed out all this blood
That this heart churns, breathing oxygen,
That comes out from the dead, fake revolutions. 

I will pretend I love no monks
I will pretend I hate protests
(I will close my eyes when they kill your Rohingyas)
Drown in Seven-Year- Old Monk,
with all its bitterness.

I even hate that U2's song on Aung Sang Suu Kyi
I don't know what the freedom fighters do in your Jungles
I haven't heard about a single hero of guerrilla warfare
Who emerged from your jungle.
But I know what I can do with myself
If you provide me shelter and a guitar
A blank page and a poppy flower,

Embrace me, Burma!
You will find me very fine.