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.