A word for god

By Shivani Mehta

I tell you how my voice cracks in dreams where I am a sea urchin washed ashore, waiting endlessly for the tide to take me.  How, when I realize the waves that once taught me about the sea aren’t coming back, I hurl my despair at the wind’s nonchalance. Centuries ago the word for god was the same as the word for storm, the people wore amulets to protect against both.  From my black inlet, I see the remnants of sacred objects – pieces of conch shells echoing chants, prayers, the leather thongs of ancient sandals, stone bodies of broken statues.  Centuries ago men grew sons and waited while the women traveled in search of nameless disasters. 


 

Shivani Mehta was born in India and grew up in Singapore.  She moved to New York to attend college and subsequently, law school.  A recovering attorney, she is the proud mother of eighteen-month old twins who, fortunately, sleep long enough to allow her to write prose poems.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, children, dog, two cats, and several fish. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Mudfish Magazine, the Prose Poem Project, Fjord’s Review, and Hotel Amerika.  One of her poems was a winner in Narrative Magazine’s annual poetry contest in 2011.

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