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2 min read

Wash your hands

The pseudonym Pandora is one the most influential poets in Burma today. In 2012, she published an anthology entitled Tuning: An Anthology of Myanmar Women Poets, which is the first book of its kind presenting female Burmese poets. She has written a new poem for PEN/Opp

Credits Text: Pandora March 13 2014

Wash your hands
Oh Dear, wash your hands
As swine flu virus is spreading
Wash your hands
As we cannot afford medical expenses
Wash your hands
To prevent human lives from falling like snows
During the second wave of the disaster in winter
Wash your hands
For playing dirty
Also for the dirt
Wash your hands
For the act of staining
Also for the stains
Wash your hands
As the insect called suspicion is increasingly active
Among friends
Wash your hands
As romance, humour, poignancy and so and so
Are tilted on their axis by an average of 23.5 degrees
Wash your hands
As the sinners sinking in the hell
Who are drawn from the head
Are shouting “interest ... interest”
Whenever their heads rise above the earth
Wash your hands
As the hostage King Saw Luu, smoking recklessly,
told the rescuer Prince Kyan Sit Thar
“This is my life and none of your business”
Wash your hands
Let by gone be by gone
Hence, to let the unfinished be gone
Wash your hands
While riding on the ups and downs of life
And singing
Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap to make sure they are clean
Forearms, forehands, palms
Tip of the fingers, between the fingers, knuckles and wrists
Including skin, flesh, blood, bones, veins and fat
Wash your hands
Wash the hands of those who polish shoes
Wash the hands of those who hold guns
Wash the hands of those who think smart
Wash the hands of those who fly flags
Wash the hands of a gipsy messing up a dustbin
Wash the hands of an aunty selling snacks in Bo Gyoke market
Wash the hands of my unborn niece lying in the womb
Wash the hands of my long-distance friends whom I have never seen outside
President Obama, wash your hands too
Oh Dear, wash your hands
While waiting for the platonic love of the earth
Which will give a kiss to the clean hands
Wash your hand

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