The Blunted Edges of Religious Teeth


The remains of Indian Hindus—sawtooth sutures, patella pendants, elbow cones, teeth spicules banter with the swoosh of waves—bending, walking, sleeping with the Patuka-waisted Nepalese, Hilsa-tongued Bangladeshi, turbaned bawas, butter lamps, marigolds, incense sticks, paper plates, snakes and sins. With every dip in the holy river, these cut-outs of memories settle on their skins, tension lines, earlobes.

With carbon dating, you will find Hindus and their bones as dots globed across the world map except Indian soil.


The wheat kernels hanging as earrings, fluttering corn silk, our holy homes swerve in the soil carrying the streams of blood, twitching hearts, history-iced shoulders of Indian Muslims.

When we grind wheat grains, don’t we powder bits and pieces of their bones?


When my head—a sludge pot of blood and brain cracked as an eggshell, the lady next door draped the vulnerability of my tears with love-greased hugs and turmeric milk. My tongue knows the taste of two religions—breast milk and the milk that she fed me.

How important are her beliefs, the way of prayers, the language of chants?


Do orphan hearts that drool for a whiff of love,

or naked feet that walk miles for your cremation logs,

or young hands that earn money to run their homes

know the custody battles of religion?


The blunted edges of religious teeth

make bite marks on human skin,

let nouns of faith and love dress their hollowness.

Kinshuk Gupta uses the scalpel of his pen to write poems. His chapbook has been shortlisted for the chapbook contest organised by Rhythm Divine Poets, Kolkata, in 2017. One of his poems was amongst the Top 50 Poems in The Great Indian Poetry Contest. His poems have been widely anthologised in India and abroad. Most of his poems talk about his experiences as an undergraduate medical student.

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