Like buying a ticket inland
to barely understandable provinces
with no language at all I bargain and pay
for this warm planet
tipping the scales of wrist and elbow
spreading my fingers with its weight to read
my life-line my heart-line
my seams and mounds of fortune.
I stare
into the sun on smoggy evenings
the throat of an old street oven
that seems to expand as I anticipate
its glow engulfing my solar system.
I open my mouth
and China fills it sliding into tartness
forcing my lips
to begin its name
over and over then finger-painting my chin
with the gel of ripeness.
I swallow the pabulum of infancy
the sweet mucilage of age.
It makes me eat like a person alone
who hasn’t loved for years.
There seems to be no core
the few black seeds hardly noticed
in its one undifferentiated cell
other tongue
that makes mine lazy the flavour ?
the flavour is …
my hand moves like an incantation
through an alley of blunt flames
that can be eaten with a spoon.
I gorge
on a people’s staple
fat Buddha squat Amida
repeat three times
persimmon persimmon persimmon
and go to heaven.

from The Tibetan Cabinet (River Road Press, 2010), Caroline Caddy 2010, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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