SOMETIMES, in the day’s white heat, you see them lined up a block long outside the Kali Temple.
They are faithful and meek before the Black Goddess, before the terrible Kali Ma of skulls.
I see Her by the scarlet shrine tree down the street, an unforgiving ebony statuette. She squishes the devotional impulse in me. Or what’s left of it. I am not, I admit, the devotional type. Not since being mugged in my youth by the God of Israel.