a portrait of god as a tenant in my heart

Somrita Urni Ganguly

Somrita Urni Ganguly

my god pulls on the strings of a violin
like samvel yervinyan
as though tugging at the filigree veins
leading to the hot room of my heart
a string tears
ever so delicately
flooding my body with drops of carmine coloured music

my god loves me like my mother does
unquestioningly
with not a moment of doubt
not a moment of regret
when i wake up with a fresh burst of acne on my face
and even when i go to bed
with a thick layer of borolene to heal cracked heels
she loves me like there is no other
there never has been
and there never will be
ever
ever
she loves me
for i am her only and her entire

my god is the loch lomond
stretching out before my unbelieving eyes
a miracle on a lovesick autumn evening
illuminated by a salt smelling moon

my god has the patience of my father
and his kindness
and his infinite tenderness
despite everything that i have ever done
or said
he loves me enough to never tell ma
my deepest darkest sorriest secrets

my god is a glass of chardonnay
the smell of frying pork sausages in soya butter
and two thick cubes of cheddar cheese
for me
for me alone

my god kisses the inside of my lower lip
and the under of my arm
like my lying bastard of a lover does
who hates me enough to not love me
who loves me enough to never be able to leave me

my god sounds like fathima khanum sahiba at 90
and akhil says her voice breaks like a wishbone
every time she hits the high notes
to sing
waqt ki kaid mey zindagi hai
magar chand ghadiyaan yahin hain jo azaad hain

my god is in my resfeber
and the first flush of flying on an airplane all alone
to a country i have never known

my god is the whisperings of the sea in brighton
coming and going and coming back again to me
familiarly nightly daily

my god is neruda talking about cherry blossoms
and springs

my god is the man at the bar in las vegas
desiring my almond skin

my god is in the fragrance of night jasmines
redeeming an unlivable summer afternoon in Calcutta

my god is in the fading ink of the love sonnet
found scribbled on the last page of a second hand bibhutibhushan

my god is in the moistness of a beagle’s nose
licking my hand for the very first time

my god is in the sigh that the earth lets out
when drops of monsoon rain caress its dry

my god is in the tangerine maple leaf
pressed between the pages of my mother’s macbeth

my god is the molten warm jaggery spilling out on my tongue
after the first bite of a shondesh

or in the butter uncurling on the plate
after my knife cuts into a perfectly cooked turkey kiev

my god is in the trees telling you stories
during a raging storm

my god is in the belief that harry potter
will make it in the end

my god is in the memory of the first kiss in the rain
saved in a crystal vial that looks a lot like the human heart

my god is in pather panchali
masaan
before sunrise
and blue valentine

my god is in the setting sun painting the arabian sea incarnadine
my god is in the niagara spraying my face wet on ma and dad’s anniversary
my god is in the airplane chasing the rising sun while flying over the black pacific
my god is in the first composed haiku sitting on the upper deck of a ship to andaman

my god is in the poet that i want to be
my god is in the fire i hide within me

do you believe in god?

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