Mahabalipuram
There were four stately temples in me the sea
dedicated by four warriors
No longer can I remember
which Deities lived there
The stonework was delicate
looking like pure lace
The wind and the Sun ran through them
As children do
during the summer holidays
The ocean lay supplicating
foam fingers folded, interlinked
Only the sand was a cautious
That much of humility
was a womb in which nestled
a sudden attack
The grainy murmur of the beach
sounded like a gritty prophecy
coming true
Like crocodile tears, the salty brine
Drowned those four temples, one by one
Now I remain
The fifth temple,
The last one on this shore
Tourists come gape at me
Smearing my rocky outside
With sticky hands
Thankfully they no longer pee
Into the crevices
The resident Gods are silent
They seem not to mind
Soon
the sea will swallow
this great construct of people long gone
Yes, in me the sea will settle five drowned
residences of Divinities
I shall bloat a little more
Something the buoyant waters
Will conceal in its dark depths
Waiting to drown
And then create
Yet another Universe
just like yours and mine—Lakshmi Bayi