A Waking Nightmare

What elders
Hide as secrets
Can carry your childhood
In a bag full of memories.
From my dad’s zoology jar
A dead Wolf snake
Dipped in formaldehyde
To preserve it
Hangs around my neck
In a feverish dream.
It makes me search
For a real life Shiva
On the busy highway
Of my adulthood
When the blue sky descends
And mocks my belief
To forget those
Unforgetful epic evenings
When my sister caught moths
For science practical classes and
Trapped them in small jars;
I dreamed that my wings
Were caged by nets.
I grew not in captivity
But the body of
A trapped dead snake
Caged my soul
When I saw it inside a fragile glass jar.
There was another story in Biratnagar
Where I missed the narrated snow story
In the mirage on the heat of Terai,
The plain land.
Wrinkles on my grandmother’s hand
Smelled of incense sticks in her alcove
Inside her vintage room
Wafting with the ceiling fan’s
Hot air.
Travelling with bedtime mythic figures
Of Rakshasas
Disturbing the pious Agni Kunda
Or Havan of the gods,
My childhood dream was
A growing mind.
All still a waking nightmare now.
~Sushant Thapa
Biratnagar, Nepal

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