On Makeshift Bedding

On makeshift
bedding in the cucumber
garden, the hilltribe
girl clings to
her exhausted lover.
Limbs still chaffing
with pleasure, dissolving
against him she
now and again with
one bare foot
jostles a shell necklace
that hangs from a
vine on the fence–
rattling it
through the night,
scaring the jackals off.

   –from the Vidyakara Anthology
   Sanskrit; trans. Andrew Schelling

Vidya, The Vidyakara Anthology, Sanskrit,
trans. Andrew Schelling, Dropping the Bow:
Poems from Ancient India, 1991, Broken Moon