It takes a while to shed my garb,
The nocturnal creature in me,
As I stride across the grey morning track.
The trees, comrades in arms, my witnesses,
Lean towards each other to whisper,
Their supine shadows holding hands.
As the sun breaks out on my forehead.
Dark half moons rise under my eyes.
Sleep has streaked my eyeballs crimson,
Curled my spidery hands into fists.
Fragments of my dreams incubate within.
My midnight stories crouch inside my palms,
A sliver of ecstasy is a thorn in my side
The one I slept on, with my back to the wall.
Stealthily, the jasmine flowers in my hair
Dawn settles softly around my irises
The ghouls stop digging their teeth into me.
Daylight is such a devil, it woos me.
I am a sunflower now, a young bud...
As my head turns, giddy and light,
I moult—my evening skin, a memory.
I laugh, as my shadows stalk me;
I know the trees will guard my secret.
- Archana Pai Kulkarni