Ejected Spaceship

Because Burma is not herself
Herself is no longer Burma.

What does the cloud see when she looks herself in the mirror?

When the white faces laugh at her accent…
When her families tell her “You are not a Burmese anymore”

She used to carry that weight
from grandmas
on her shoulders
under her armpits
in her asscheeks

When the passport protects you from one military gun but not the other’s

A woman with travelling ID cards must have felt like a spaceship
That has been ejected out into the space
Goodbyes with celebrations
Farewells with no return home.

She moves and moves and moves
But there is no gravity
“Ungrounded” ရေပေါ်ဆီ

“Talking from abroad?”
“Why NOT talking from abroad?”

To create her own gravity
She must cut a piece of her body
To move closer to the Mother Ship
Just like that
Spaceships have become clouds
Pieces and pieces and pieces
All dispersed.

A thing of a less-than
Less than the Mother herself.

Must have been her fault that she floats.

When the Mother no longer wants her, rejects her, cuts her off like a cancer tumor.

Clouds are flying everywhere now
But they will never ever get home.

And just like that…

She is no longer Burma
As Burma is not her Self anymore…

Chu May Paing


Posted by Chu May Paing

Chu May Paing is a writer, anthropologist, and decolonial-feminist in progress. Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar and currently a migrant in the US, Chu is infatuated with the migrants’ stories of diasporic kinship, belonging, and refusal towards their newly adapted ways of life. She is interested in engaging with the concepts of temporal positionalities, intense feelings, and shifting materialities in attempting to understand what it means to be a human. Chu believes that the personal is truly the political and therefore aspires to use authoethnography as a critical reflexive tool of refusal against the white, masculine, and colonial gaze. Chu is a founder and co-director at Aruna Global South, a non-profit promoting experimental scholarship and systematically marginalized scholars and thinkers working in, on, and from the Asian Global South. When she is not questioning her own privileged upbringings as a bama Buddhist woman, she writes against whiteness and neocoloniality in academia and in Burma. Chu also writes in Burmese under the pen name Ma Chinthe (Miss Lion). Chu’s personal website: https://www.lionwithaflowingmane.com/aboutme Ma Chinthe: https://www.facebook.com/machinthe Aruna Global South: https://www.arunaglobalsouth.org/