September 2019

Back to Issue 6

Forgetting Mandalay

By Brett Firman

tell me of how She loved to explore

walking along a dirt track

in a longyi and thongs

smiling into the heat

of a hundred jade buddhas 

tell me of the onslaught 

of hot rain

of how She stood- daring

the waters to wash her away

wandering through a graveyard

of market stalls

and stray dogs 

shivering in masses

tell me why red teeth

jumped off a scooter

gnashing and gnawing

towards           her

ripping through cotton

her clawing away

running into the heavy air

running through the mud

tell me why 

She can still feel

a bruise

a bite mark on her breast

chunks of her missing

chunks of her drunk

in a loud hostel bar

drowning in vodka sodas

drowning in the skyline

of temples at sunset

tell me why 

She blocked

her vocal chords

with forced laughter

when she travelled in a pack

along a dirt track

eyes narrowing

waiting to hear a clash of teeth

her personal alarm clock

at 2am

swimming in sweat and shame

She tells me it was her fault.