A Waking Nightmare

Sushant Thapa

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 Tarai,
The plain land.
Wrinkles on my grandmother’s hands
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 Agnikunda
Or Hawan of the gods,
My childhood dream was
A growing mind.
All still a waking nightmare now.

[Sushant Thapa is a Nepalese poet from Biratnagar-13, Nepal who holds a Master’s degree in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He has published four books of poetry namely: The Poetic Burden and Other Poems (Authorspress, New Delhi, 2020), Abstraction and Other Poems (Impspired, UK, 2021), Minutes of Merit (Haoajan, Kolkata, 2021), and Love’s Cradle (World Inkers Printing and Publishing, New York, USA and Senegal, Africa, 2023). Sushant has been published in places like Sahitya Post, The Gorkha Times, The Kathmandu Post, The Poet Magazine, The Piker Press, Trouvaille Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Impspired, Harbinger Asylum, New York Parrot, Pratik Magazine, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Dope Fiend Daily, Atunis Poetry, EKL Review, The Kolkata Arts, Dissident Voice, Journal of Expressive Writing, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Spillwords, Mad Swirl, Ink Pantry, International Times and Outlook India among many.]