Song

The demons fainted from my flowers’ fragrance
On the night she missed me.

The constellations in my heaven blushed
On the night she whispered my name.

Blocks of lead dropped into my ocean
And I lit a lighthouse in my heart
On the night I burned at both ends,
And kept it lit up all alone.

Startled villains dropped their swords
On the night she gazed into the distance.

The stones on the road were perfumed
On the night she loved me.

I shot myself with thunderbolts,
I was engulfed in ghostly flames,
On the night I burned at both ends,
And kept it lit up all alone.

— Taya Min Wai
(Trans. by Kenneth Wong)

Taya Min Wai was a member of the student group that led the uprising in Myanmar (Burma) in 1988. He spent four years in prison (1990 to 1994) for his participation in the democracy movement. He composed poems in prison by memorizing them, line by line, as he was forbidden to use pencils and paper.

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