If Parvati Wrote a Love Letter to Shiva After 1700 years of Marriage


By Sarah E. Adkins

My dear one,

Though it had long been my goal to make you my husband, I was not prepared for the contradiction of being lost and found at the same time. It’s something I’ve never gotten used to. Even when Ganesha nurses, his long elephant trunk tickling my breast, it is your warm breath I feel; your rough stubble’s rubbing rawness. I feel an intake of air before suckling resumes.

Today, scientists know that the pheromone released when reaching climax is the same as the one released during breast-feeding. I know this feeling, Shiva. It is the unsettling un-awareness of the separation of parts from whole. There are worse things to be known for than fertility and devotion to the spouse, and if I am the source of your power or the reason you take an interest in the world around us, I am glad.

I stopped existing outside of you long ago. The paintings show me with two arms when I am with you, four when I am alone. I used to chafe at this depiction of myself as merely half of you, never having the absence of your arms around me.  But sometimes, when we are wrapped up and you are falling asleep inside of me, I am not sure whose arm is resting on whose leg.

Your devoted goddess


About Author

Sarah Adkins

Sarah E. Adkins has published poems in The Open End Blog, Babelfruit, Plainspoke, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, and Istanbul Literature Review, as well as published poetry reviews in Fourth River. Her first chapbook, Prolonged Exposure, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2015. She has earned both a Master’s of Fine Arts (in Creative Writing/Poetry, from Chatham University) and a Master’s of Divinity (from United Theological Seminary). To paraphrase Bon Jovi, Sarah is a poet, fighter, preacher, student, and teacher. She is currently a humanities teacher at a Pittsburgh high school.

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