Akhila Jagdish: Tales from Shakespeare

Spring '10 TOC

Puck always arrived sooner than expected. Sleepy head on a pillow
small brown teddy bear. Crumpled blanket hanging
off the edge.

- Tell me a story please! I cannot imagine going to bed
(dark listless dreams). I want the tempest and a mid-summer’s
night to comfort me. (Small, kind fairies)

The world has come down to dark, falling, silver. Constructed at the moment
things caught fire, promising beginnings. Water breaking light, your voice
brought me back to childhood. Of vivid dreams, solitary visions. Small
green witches the size of my thumb on brooms trying to steal my breath.

I hid under the covers. I hid from the witches.

- SCREAM! There is a devil under my bed. I can feel him
Breathing on my feet.

All the myths told to me were lies, I realized as an adult. The stars
smile for no one, their cold light shines upon us. Giving no warmth.

The moment you are able to embody the words, you feel them
on your skin, penetrating deep into your body. You find that
nothing will wash away the words, fragments. Sentences.
You decide to stop raging against the light and finally you
embrace the decisions. The lost opportunities. The wall between.

Snow kept falling that night. I can still smell the hot chocolate
whispers. I would have made ginger tea for you. After making
snow angels, sitting by a fire, eating roasted chestnuts. I remember
the parties, your red embroidered sari. Paris on your neck and arms.
I remember how you cried the day the Nepalese Royal Family
died. It all seems like so long ago.

I knew the day it would change. Black and white blurred.
I lost my blanket on the metro platform. And my history teacher
did nothing to save me from the skinheads. So I sat in my
dream and cried. In silence. Tears wetting my pillow. I clung
to that blanket with all my heart. It became my heart.

Wounded. Torn. Unrecognizable.

- Tell me a story please! I cannot imagine going to bed
(the nightmares started to grow longer and thicker).
I want the tempest and a mid-summer's night
to comfort me. (A place where everything rights itself)

There was a devil under my bed. And no one knew.

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Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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