Abecedarian for A Child Brought Up with Magic

Architecture meant nothing— except blanket forts in August. I didn’t know about
Brutalist monoliths, Renaissance churches & Gothic arcs. I only knew about
Crafting glue. I smattered it generously on my palm; waited for the wetness to
Dry— white to transparent; lines of love, heart, & life— too light for astrologers’
Eyes— peel. When did I start melting wax— Dripping— & ripping hair from
Follicle? My brother & I, slept under one blanket but he never whispered
Goodnight. Instead, he’d hand me a flashlight & nudge & whine until my
Hands turned into puppets. Shadow stories played on the bedroom wall—
Icebergs collided with ships; eagles swooped across the ceiling; rabbits fought
Jackals— until his eyelids grew heavy; limbs curled; mouth went slack.
Kaleidoscopes were, once, more than just broken bangles & 3 mirrors. I remember
Laughter ringing through the stars. Back then, I’d look up & know that the bright
Moon was Artemis watching over The Little Prince on Asteroid B 612. Back then,
Neverland was close at hand. When I was 12, I met Ah Meng (the Sumatran
Orangutan); she bestowed a prophecy unto me. One greater that those conjured from
Paraphernalia of family astrologers. She said, “You’ll drink poison like Shiva &
Quantify your worth in dollars.” I know money now, Ma. You, once, held out your
Rough, worn-from-25-years-of-housework hands. Full of envy, you scorned at my
Soft, Never-worked-a-day, Never-washed-a-single-plate, hands. Look! Look at my
Tough, oven-singed, detergent-dried, rock-climbing, spider-evicting hands.
U.F.O.’s never did land & Fairies never did dance in the forests of the Himalayan
Valley, did they? But I still tricked my brother into believing it all. Together, we were
Watchmen for supernatural phenomena. I was raised by a Hindu family that celebrated
X-Mas purely for the joy of myth & secrecy. If I still believe in magic, can
You blame me? Blame my Eternal Playmates, my Flawed Mother & Ah Meng from the

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Yash Bisht

Yash Bisht is a queer south-asian poet. Their poetry wrestles with thriving in a fragmented world as a young vagrant. Yash grew up in the foothills of the Himalayas, lived in a busy Southeast Asian island, and currently reside in the Pacific Northwest. They draw inspiration from Natalie Diaz, Li-Young Lee, Franny Choi, Chen Chen, Sarojini Naidu, Ocean Vuong, Kaveh Akbar, Rabindranath Tagore, Saadat Hasan Manto, Arista Engineer, and Mary Oliver. Yash loves learning languages, eating seasonal fruits, and singing.