It’s hard-even for a temple dedicated to Destroyer and Saviour and whoever holds
The exact balance in things-hard to breathe under all this green, the way the jungle
Seeds and re-seeds itself on stone. But the serenity of it! You see a forest of heads
All smiling the smile that says something is about to start or has just now, happily,
Concluded. And the lake that’s a sacred bathing place, a source of drinking water. ..
No wonder Vishnu became Shiva for an incarnation or two, all things flowing into
Each other: thighs, wasp-waists, mouths of calm, their gravely buoyant stone breasts
Surviving beyond breath. Buried for centuries in a crawl of vegetation, they’ve never
Let slip what they were sure of always: while war followed on the iron heels of war
They knew what had made them smile, full-lipped like LhaL, hulJing their ground.