ganesha: an elegy
by Divyasri Krishnan
& parvati was lonely, so out of the dirt of her own body she fashioned herself a son.
before the elephant head,
i was a boy. curtained in sweetwater
& dead skin—the dogs chasing me
in concentric circles, in two halves
of the mango, i had teeth back then
& dragged them in lines. i had
tasted of my body, a tributary
of the sky (& not,
as i had thought,
dressed in rivulets of the sun).
like a boy, i never learned to swim.
like a boy, i held a spear
& replaced my eyes with twin coins,
blinking with sun. i was a wish
half-made. i was half-earth
on my mother’s side. they said
figurine, said false idol,
dregs of the candle—
meaning, of course,
that my time was nearly up.
i would die by drowning,
they said. my skin sloughed off,
my ribs inverted, each vein
celestial in collapse. in the end
i did not die by drowning.
they took my head.
Divyasri Krishnan is a high school senior from Acton, Massachusetts whose work has been recognized by the Adroit Journal, the National YoungArts Foundation, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the Poetry Society of the UK. Her poetry appears in Third Point Press, Rust + Moth, High Shelf Press, and elsewhere. In 2020, she was a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Best of the Net Finalist, and longlisted for the Palette Poetry Prize. She enjoys reading bottom-of-the-barrel urban fantasy and baking.