Night Beast

By Sukirtharani

Translation By N. Kalyan Raman

Darkness had begun
to decend on the sky
like pallor spreads
on the skin of a girl
come of age.

Shutting the street door
I sat inside, alone
in the yellow light of candles.

It was then that the daily
-unwelcome- visit
came to pass.
Even I was watching
it stripped me away
and brought forth
another version of myself.

Before I could feel astonished,
I had finished reading
the book that bore
the imprint of intimacy.

Light rays from my eyes
settled on the loose folds
of the man’s clothes
as he slept in the front room.
As one drunk on wine cup
brimming,
my body swam 
and rose to the surface.

While I was absorbed
in pleasuring myself, muttering
obscenities in a low moan, hearing
the rustle of bird wings,
the night beast fled, returning
me to myself.

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