Stillborn (Haibun) - Poem by Rochelle Potkar
His father's shadow rises every night with the silhouettes of knives, blades, sickles, belts, and whips, growing and looming over his mother's face.
These rise into his dreams too with Amar Chitra Katha, Super Commando Dhruva, Superman, Batman, Bone, The Dark Knight Returns, Sandman, X-Men, and Watchman. They rise into his mother's screams in voice bubbles from Robot, Final Fantasy, Star Wars, and Avtaar.
There is always good versus evil. Evil loses in the end, its shadow diminishing.
Someone always saves the damsel. The meek inherit the earth. Good things happen to good people.
His father whips his mother so hard that the shadows in his dreams flicker like a TV set, or candle wick.
Some shadows do not diminish even after he opens his eyes. In fact, they spew from every crevice, spawning from the corners of his eyes. They merge with the original shadow of original sin.
Why couldn't the superhero in him rise when he knew the names and dialogues, voices and actions of every superhero in every comic, animation movie, and sci-fi film?
How many super-heroes make one superhero?
How many will it take to make him?
periwinkle sky -
the unwanted butterfly
after our breakup
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