Friday, May 2, 2008

Night’s Secrets

By Radhika Iyengar

And cats walk the silver street

Tails as question marks

Their paws compete

Orange with brown stripes

Black with white puddles

Brown with black masks

They walk into the night

The night breathes winter:

Veils the windows,

And seduces the leaves

While the burning red

Of pregnant lamps

Haunt the dark corners

Of the night...

And the winds mourn and wail

beckoning morning;

Forgotten letters

Fly as carpets from Aladdin’s land

Out the window of a woman betrayed

And shadows follow

The lone walkers

Whispering deceitfully where they have been —

While the mandir stands alone —

A white concrete of hopes and promises

Where rest the fat-bellied priests

(The beggars still sleep on the road)

The moonlight tip-toes

Into the night

Anxious to leave the sky

Just this once

And she pours and pours,

And does not stop,

And is caught when the morning arrives…

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