An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry

Abhi Subedi

Manson and Street

He's sitting on the precarious edge
of a building working
above a Thamel street. 

Kathmandu's befuddled times
shine forth in tourists' eyes

Eyes roll and linger
Eyes turn up
to fill the sky in them
he fills them-
he's the protagonist of the air
a link between the shifting crowd and the future
in the false stars he's building

I look up at him
his half-buttock's in the void
he's standing
firmly gripping the concrete edge
only with a few toes
The sky between him and me trembles
like his uncertain next step. 

Unsure like this
He's built the bizarre dream of Nepal
in Thamel tourist district
I imagine with alarm-
if he skidded into the air
the crowd might see a moment's sensation 
but he'll go into oblivion like an asteroid
like everyone of his low-paid predecessors-
those who built the hanging garden of Babylon
Shah Jahan's Taj dreams
Milano's miracle, the duomo
Singhdurbar, palace of Versailles
and many more.

Meeting you in café under this
I too feel
I'm standing insecurely
On the edge of dreams
Arching from the shifty street to your eyes.

(Translated from Nepali by Ann Hunksins)