Friday, October 02, 2015


When my mouth is filled with pulp
surrendered by some unfortunate --
with hard bits like watermelon seeds,
and obstinate threads
that anchor nought to nought,

but pull against the tongue -- I give up chewing.
I think maybe
there are enzymes for the job.
The night thoughts begin to recede
and plain day resumes. Until enlightenment
I take refuge in the Buddha
the Dharma
and in the supreme assembly of the Sangha.

Oh, you who have prayed the longest
and thought the least,
walk back with me along this needled path:
take my hand, all figured like Caduceus,
straight tendons wound about with veins:
still competent to touch, though
maybe for a while.

If my mouth were my own
I might formulate a halting
request for forgiveness
of the ordinary kind:
I overstayed my welcome,
but how was I to know?

I go amordazado, mute,
over last year’s prickled gooseflesh to the lake;
I kneel and spit,
and the day’s slow gods wake to me at last.
Wash out his mouth
and take him to the house:
never mind a jury of his peers.

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