A Mouse Might Morph Into an Elephant
ko ko thett

No way
a bicycle will become a submersible.

I kept telling him that.

He wouldn’t listen.

Loaded with dreams
stonier than himself
he dived into the ocean.

He came up a nightmare.

He still doesn’t give up,
hoping to be recycled—

reborn, a nuclear sub.

Translated from the Burmese by the author.


ကြွက်ဟာ ဆင်ဖြစ်ချင်ဖြစ်သွားနိုင်တယ်
ko ko thett

ရေငုပ်သင်းဘော ဖြစ်လာမှာမဟုတ်

သူ့ကို အကြိမ်ကြိမ် နားချခဲ့

ကျောက်တုံးထက်လေးလံတဲ့ အိပ်မက်တွေနဲ့
သူ ပင်လယ်ထဲ အတင်းဆင်းသွားတာ


ဒါလည်း မလျှော့သေး
သူ့ကို ရီဆိုင်ကယ်လုပ်ရင်



ko ko thett is a Burma-born poet, literary translator, and poetry editor for Mekong Review (2017–2022). thett has published and edited several collections of poetry and translations in both Burmese and English. His poems are widely translated and anthologised. His translation work has been recognised with an English PEN Translates Award. thett’s most recent poetry collection is Bamboophobia (Zephyr Press, 2022). He lives in Norwich, UK.

From “Tide” by Wang Ruobing, National Gallery, Singapore, 2023.
Photo by ko ko thett.


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