Anjali Pathiyath

October 1991 - London
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Metamorphosis, interrupted

I sometimes dream I am a caterpillar
who forgets to grow into a butterfly.
I burrow into leaves, breaking through their delicate venation.
I funnel my uncinate feet through curling petals,
I glide through the pungent weeds of uncertainty
and hang from gossamer threads of doubt.

I sometimes dream I am a caterpillar
blending into the mossy greens growing on decaying walls,
lost in the intricate forest and counting the unseen stars,
not understanding
that the deepening night is always a maze,
and can only lead me further away from home.

I sometimes dream I am a caterpillar
furrowing a sticky trail along the rocky beds of the ocean floor,
wondering why I cannot breathe or speak, wish or curse,
not being able to tell the difference between up and down,
water and sky,
love and hate.

I sometimes dream I am a caterpillar
that craves the perfection of stillness over the freedom of flight,
spinning my liquid cocoon and hiding in its silky depth,
gradually growing old inside, and not realising,
that the point of the cocoon is to harbour life,
not death.
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