The Submarine Island

Hyma Ein
Version from the Burmese by Niall McDevitt
Literals provided by Myint Swe and Vicky Bowman

your life in this wrapping-paper sea
your life
weighed and packaged

carrying on your crown
Oceanus here
propping up the gulf

wings of the seabirds
beat into your ear
spans forbidden the eye

cloud-images in the mirror
of the silver surf
but clouds are censored

rollers high-jumping over your head
horse-playing
white caps white horses

clipper-ships cut furrows
up there
but the crews do not remember

as for the stars
made-up to glitter
they queue at nightclubs

abandoning you to the rock-salts
flailing
in the acid chambers

but one thing is rising here
rip-tides
of your swelling agon

and leviathans are looming
a danger to you
circling circling

almost like the mountains
we look at now
who once were shrouded in sea

your blood's earth's blood
your bloodline's
mingled with the brine

and beyond sea's immensity
the seaboard
rims of dry land

 

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