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"This House" • Japanese Breakfast (by t.r. san)


what if one day memory folds onto itself

like a sieve and down my skin-drain goes

objective correctness and true shadows

and your absence has built a new present

– not grief – in the leftover sediment, and

dictates the future in bichrome sepia


father of my father smiled at me 2 months

before he died, the way a stranger would

be smiled at. i was one already before his

memory birthed new blood, but the kind

you trick yourself into pronouncing strange,

the kind you look away from, ashamed—


my father is forgetting names. when drunk

i am his sister and he boasts my entry

into dentistry college because his teeth are

giving up their enamel. teeth bond us together

as he bites me and says her name, animalistic

then the next day he forgets mine, animal


my name sounds a lot like animal. i pretend

i can distinguish what meaning truly is

when i turn my head at every mention

of beast, creature, skinless being. i fail.

what if one day i don’t know you?

what if one day you leave?

t.r. san is a transsexual poet based in yangon who writes horror without meaning to. its name translates to exemplary grace & is homonymous with animal.


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