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Satya Dash


When a notoriously fast arm yanked his
pants down at the entrance of the temple,

desperate for any proclamation of divine ownership for his
misfortunes—the girl he secretly loved at school was leaving

town and he had, after a filling breakfast
yesterday, walked in on his parents

making love and the bully on the street was badgering him to no
end to buy cricket bats for the neighborhood gang and oh shit, what

about the trigonometry test he had flunked—it did pass his mind
that this was the Lord at his sadist best whose commerce thrived

on worldly misery like his. As he looked around the compound’s
menagerie of petite iron gods, wooden bulls and sandstone lions, he saw

a colorless wave of horror sweep across the blur of wide
eyed faces glaring in his direction. How could he forget

he had gone commando today! Crushing a can of emptied
Red Bull with his muddied soles, veins humming charged

fructose, he wept on the edge of an overpass bridge, a rising miasma
of the town’s trademark odor—the crisp smoke of burnt leaves

roiled with the stench of fresh swirly dung—assuaging his
vengeful eyes. He stopped weeping when he started peeing

off the edge, a few kickstarting sputters before arcing the faint gold
of a giant parabola, the vault of urine illumining the ring of evening fog

in the way a ray of light reveals a patch of dirt. In December’s myopic
darkness and watching from a fair distance, I could barely see

the thick shape that stepped aside on the pavement below

to avoid being rained on by that kind of mutinous shower.

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