Lord Shiva Is Dancing In This House

“Nataraja3” by Benjamín Preciado Centro de Estudios de Asia y África de El Colegio de México – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Lord Shiva is dancing in this house;

even now he stands mid-step, foot raised
to stamp the ground and set the
whole world shaking.
And the world of this house,
at least, responds.

His cinnamon-colored skin glistens
in the pale light of ageless stars and
dim, forty-watt bulbs.
His dark eyes are lined with kohl
and stare out across the curve of the world –

But it is this pea-green & mustard-yellow sofa,
this antique dining-room table,
this vinyl-floored kitchen,
that exists in the universe of his eyes.

It is the world of this house
that is dying.

Walls of dark-wood paneling
tremble and quake, and sweat
pours down the window panes.
Bookshelves topple like pillars;
crystal candleholders, picture frames,
books and lamps and remote controls,
leap into the air and orbit the room
and its occupants.
Tornadoes twist and turn,
tearing at curtains and rocking chairs.

When the Dancer of the Steps of Death
dances, entire civilizations
crumble in his wake.
But now it is this house that
steps in time with him.

The Lord of Chaos pauses,
foot raised, mid-step,
ready to continue –
willing to stop.

And then he stomps the ground,
as the pounding of the pots on the stove
and the singing of the sofa and the chairs
and the screaming of the windows
and the wailing of doors
orders him to begin the dance again.

Silent Sister


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