Dark night at Sule pagoda

Rangoon, 1927

I came late to Rangoon.
Everything was already there --
a city
of blood,
dreams and gold,

a river that flowed
from the savage jungle
into the stifling city
and its leprous streets,
and a white hotel for whites,
and a golden pagoda for the golden people.
That's what
went on
and didn't go on.
Rangoon, steps stained
by the spitters
of betel juice.

Pablo Neruda (Translated by Alistair Reid)

Pics: Christian Koch and Lenya Alec Bass, Yangon, April 2018