Bald Afternoons



The afternoon purrs on this verandah
Stinking of drugs and old desires
They slip behind shrubs,
Pebbles and the stiff air – where
A theatre of half-lights emerge,
Spectacularly startling at first,
And then terrifying with clauses on either side
Nobody but the cat and I,
Her stomach round as the margins of my thumb,
Departing from there, paws, arms and legs,
And a face decorated with oblong shaped yawns.
She moves in the yellow coat of the sun
Filling the bald afternoon with a
Few creaking breaths. Her tail moves like an elephant’s
Trunk moving inside a glass cage,
Purring in a mechanical falsetto,
Steering north towards strange, impolite clouds,
And back down to local sighs.

Yanbeni Yanthan
Assistant Professor
Nagaland University.