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Tuesday, May 11, 2021


by Indran Amirthanayagam

Myanmar poet Khet Thi, whose works declare resistance to the ruling junta, has died in detention and his body was returned with the organs removed, his family said. A spokesperson for the junta did not answer calls to request comment on the death of Khet Thi, who had penned the line “They shoot in the head, but they don’t know the revolution is in the heart.” His Facebook page said he was 45. —The Guardian, May 10, 2021

We have a body for you Mrs. Thi
but some organs are missing.
You understand that we had
to keep the heart for further study,
to better understand the root cause
of your husband's delusion,
and our apologies if the eyes
too seem askew. We dug into
ball and cornea, to unsplice
the vision fiber.This revolt must
be attacked by all available means,
including forensics, tear gas,
live bullets, home visits at night,
torture sessions in the nearest
police station. and we will be
ready for blowback from abroad,
the bloody poets gathering,
shouting words in their hearts.
Come on you chattering birds. Sing.

Indran Amirthanayagam writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has 19 poetry books, including The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press, 2020) and Sur l'île nostalgique (L'Harmattan, 2020). In music, he recorded Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly, is a columnist for Haiti en Marchewon the Paterson Prize, and is a 2020 Foundation for the Contemporary Arts fellow.