Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

by Nakul Grover

We caught the sunrise between our teeth,  
on a pious hill in New Delhi,  
walking up the cold marble temple stairs.  
Jasmines bounced in the jute basket.  
The dot on his forehead, small and red  
as a baby mango, throbbed like a thousand suns.  
I stared at Ganesh’s idol—glittering, inanimate 
half elephant of stone, half mystical superpower— 
admiring the artist who built god 
From stone and gold. Papa commanded:  
look into Ganesh’s eyes and let the holy rays 
seep through yours. Wish for a better future!  

One chance to ask for anything I wanted  
and I had no desire, no heartbeat. The priest 
slammed a coconut into two and sang in Sanskrit.  
Children waved from school buses, peanut sellers 
barged on the roads with their carts. We stepped  
down from the hill, staring back at sunrise.  
The priest’s baritone voice vibrated in my mind,  
as we entered the privacy of crowds, both pleased 
and alone, with Ganesh’s trunk embracing us. 

This poem first appeared in Rigorous Magazine.

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