My cat cries when I enter the garden, as
if I have aroused her from winter’s dream
or as if she wants to sing to me, her name.
What do cats dream of, Lord Krishna?
A coconut shell of milk or a glittering fish?
Now her slender limbs complete their asanas.
Now her neck arches, her jaw, an elastic.
The sharp eye constricts, discerns wind
in the quivering grass from a grasshopper’s
camouflage. But there’s no mistaking Maya.
My cat rehearses the accurate lunge of her paw.
She cries as one compelled, hungry, yet not.
Perhaps my being here deserves an answer.
For weeks I too have watched her, how
she hunts. I’ve heard the moan of her catch
at dusk, which is your hour, Lord Krishna.
Then, no bird sings and only a cat with two souls
dreams of death, her stigma left on a lizard
or on a butterfly, whatever moves towards
the shadow of meaning. As I am born of fire
I burn, my Lord, but I sleep in your arms.
I am one Upanishad moon on fragrant nights.
By day I am the consort of oceans, rice fields,
pale and invisible to you as the sky’s temple.
from Seva Bharati Journal of English Studies, Vol 5, 2009