by Amrita Chakraborty
God should ___, if he wants me. God should be a nervous slip of a kid. God should pick up the altar and make flower petals float. God should draw a shaky self-portrait. God shouldnotbe indivisible. That was one word that always curled on my tongue, when i stood with my hand pressed to my chest, my fickle fast skeletal chest, and chanted the words with the other children, and the teacher whose good-natured smile would so swiftly turn solemn, devout. under god, indivisible. under god’s invisible. under this god, in the visible. in the visible world, god is an electric pulse. God should be small and many. God should mill thanklessly about, in search of me. God should wait on line, eavesdropping on the women ahead of them. give me an inch, girl. cut me some slack. take this worn billfold heart into the other room. take it and fold it over again. let it be some bug’s miniature shelter. God never knows what to make of these places. God shifts her feet, which ache because they should after a whole half-hour, and watches balls of light unfurl on the eggshell-orange tile. God’s waiting on a renewal of some sort, and there are way too many forms.
God was never an enemy, because i knew God better than our families. but God’s still learning how to make friends. God’s still leaning against my wall, wondering if they’re on the outside or in. God’s still ____, trying to figure out how to ______. God should ___, but not for me. God’s knuckles should tremble. God should look up, ask if they got the right door. God should try and learn something from the silence. God should have to guess.
Amrita Chakraborty is a Bangladeshi American writer and graduate student in comparative literature at Cornell University. Her work has been published by Kajal Magazine, BOAAT, Cosmonauts Avenue, and more. She is a blog correspondent with Half Mystic Journal and her microchapbook ‘Cold Alchemy’ was published by Ghost City Press in 2020. You can read more of her writing at: amritachakraborty.com.