The first time I saw the stars, I stopped believing in God

and I stopped believing in marriage.

 

So far down the Australian Outback, laying flat in the

back of the van, 

Amma tells me that that’s where Appuchami lives, 

he lives up there. 

 

Amma says that our gods, our guards live in 

the darkness between the constellations and

the black between the stars.

Watching us from the heavens, 

playing hide and seek behind cumulus clouds,

counting our crowds and thinking out loud. 

 

Amma does not respond when I ask why her God hides up there, 

all alone? 

Why is her God so scared of what he’s created? 

Don’t his sins outnumber our own? 

 

--

 

Years later,

I found my God in my people, 

in my unbreakable faith in humanity,

in our world.

 

I danced in the beauty of our society, 

in the fireflies in our eyes and

sunlight poking through our anxiety. 

 

My humanity with our simple acts of vanity, 

forehead kisses and frozen noses.

 

Our world with our swooping horizons and bleeding blood moons,

melting ice cream castles and fire alarm tunes. 

 

Ghost writers penning the verses to the beat of our hearts. 

And I wrote my heart’s beat to 

our swaying stardust. 

Pacific sunsets, 

porcelain alphabets, and the milky way. 

 

And I found my love in

grazing fingers and every day,

brown skin and leather swings.

 

And to romanticize everything, 

to find joy in the littlest things, 

I ask, isn’t that happiness?

Yet, I still find myself praying.

 

In hidden corners and under bed sheets,

to a man who doesn’t seem to like watching me fly, 

to a cloudy sky. 

 

That one day I’ll be able to speak my prose like

rain against windows. 

 

That one day I’ll be able to carry myself so that

even Amma’s God would worship me. 

 

That one day I can stop poking holes 

in the ways of the universe.

 

To settle,

to do what is asked of me, 

to agree wholeheartedly. 

 

But I ask, isn’t my existence resistance in itself?

 

--

 

Amma looks at me in fear when I tell her I never want to get married; 

 

I don’t want to be satisfied with my pick of the varied, 

I don’t want balls of gas when I could’ve had the moon.

 

Amma says that I will be lonely

 

Amma, my humanity is shaking, I say.

Amma, my Earth is on fire, I say.

Amma, my people are dying, I say.

I would rather die, I say. 

 

Amma says that I will be lonely.

 

And I ask, isn’t your God lonely too?