In the Garden by the Lake

Hillary Clinton talking with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Hillary Clinton talking with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Why some prefer fiction over fact
reform vs. so-called reforms
election vs. sham election
Myanmar vs. Burma
Political prisoners vs. those who have committed crimes
Democracy vs. discipline flourishing democracy

One anonymous commentator says
do Suu Kyi and Hilary have
the same hair stylist what
they don’t realize is Burma is
very hot both climatically and
politically pulled back hair
off the face is best.
In the garden they hold hands like
long lost sisters.
In the background is Monica Lewinsky
and her blue dress Bill’s heart attack
Aung San Suu Kyi’s middle brother who drowned
as an infant
her elder brother who sued her about the house
at the junta’s instigation.

The private dinner is on American soil
Did they cue each other
that they’d both wear cream or off-white
or white? For hope and change. How many years is it
since Suu had a sit down western-style
formal dinner?

In the garden it’s like Carnation Lily Lily Rose
Suu’s mother was born
a Christian and loved white amaryllis with green centers which
she fertilized with the same water hyacinth that may later have helped drown her son.
A junta newspaper once faulted Daw Khin Kyi with having had
both a Christian and a Buddhist funeral service. What’s wrong with that?

The U.S. government plane flies into Naypyidaw (The King’s Royal City)
in the daytime, it’s not a night time airport
sleeps over in Thailand, then
picks up the U.S. delegation
and the press corps again.

In the garden it’s carnation
lily lily rose.

Kyi May Kaung is a poet, a visual artist, an analyst of Burmese and Southeast Asian politics, and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus. Melissa Tuckey is the poetry editor for FPIF and a board member of Split This Rock.