Bodies That Tremble


From my night at the temple

I see no clash

To walk to a temple

Barefoot, in a narrowed path

To visit another tale, a belief, and bodies that tremble

Allowing the narrative to stem

Extensions of those people, hundreds of them

Not a dance

But an act of worship

Civilization in a glance

Wood on fire and people who desire

Not romance

But an act of power

Of a Goddess and a stance

A human body

Spinning around

Behind a mask and a gown, performing a task

Spectators to astound

Set loose; he runs toward the fire

Of a God or a Goddess embodied on the ground

Tens of people run to rescue him

Although he is Holy within

His body still fragile

Marked, a human

My body stirring with a single drumming pattern

With the lights of this temple

The candles in your church

And the lanterns in my mosque

A source of light

At the end of the tunnel


One of the ladies that does my massage therapy is Muslim, and before she applies the oil on my head, I hear her say “Bismilla”, which is something not surprising, and actually expected, as from her headscarf, I had already identified her religion. While the other lady is Hindu, I did not know what she was doing, as before she begins massaging the head, she bends, applies oil on both of my ears, hands, and feet, then kneels and performs the “Anjali Mudra,” the hand gesture most commonly used here in India. What she says right after, I unfortunately don’t remember, but since the gesture is, as far as I know, a sign of respect, I felt good vibes from it, but was still shy to return it back to her. I had a few sessions with both of them, until I related this very moment to both women and understood that they were doing what in essence is the same, a form of respect, protection, in the name of a force, stronger than our fragile human bodies. Indeed, we have in common, a lot, yet, about unity, the world remains uncertain!


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