by A. Anupama
Ganesh exhaled through his trunk,
coiling it and uncoiling it
as he floated in the ocean.
He was miles away from the festivities
happening way inland, at the temple.
He drew in his breath slowly,
and he floated higher in the water.
Then he let the breath go, out the long winding way of his nose,
and he sank into the little waves, his crown gleaming just above the surface.
The air spun around and around, like the coils of his trunk,
and the coiled air fell sideways and spun together again.
It wafted away to the land, and blew quickly over the plain,
spinning like a wheel across the aridity.
When it reached the wedding tent, no one noticed the breath of damp air.
But when the holy flame was snuffed out again and again
by the long coils of that elephant breath,
all said, “look, they are already married.”
Shiva and Minakshi encircled the doused camphor, with shy smiles.
They walked, garlanded with breath, around and around
reciting the sacred vow.