I imagine you went willing, with a gasp--
astonished? That one last breath--
were you about to laugh? to weep?
No; it wasn't fear that caught you then.
You opened your mouth to let god take a bite of you.

That's what you were here for, nomad:
you knew better than anyone
you weren't bound to stay.
Just a barnstormer passing through, touching down
to explore, to love, to laugh, to ache
to be eaten by life
bite by bite until you were so big
you had to go back to the universe.

There you will live in god's belly
deep in the galaxies and nebulas you came from
you will swing from the silk of Indra's Net
a lovely pearl reflecting all that is
all that was
and all that comes to pass.

There you will bathe yourself
in the light of the impossible
and a smile will stretch you wide
enough to swallow doubt's shadows whole.
It is your turn now; unfurl the mystery for yourself
meet the mystics and the saints
dance with sinners and hypocrites,
feast with gods and heroes.

In this life I have mourned you
mourned the self I was
learned my way around the hole that bears
your shape, a place that breathes your name
no matter how many years go by
no matter how I pull at the silk of Indra's skirt to catch
you in my dreams
or reach to touch your face
with these earthen fingers.

KB © 5/17/2013


  1. Wow. May I ask for whom this was written? Strong images... I like this one very much.

    1. Hi Pat--Sorry, I never saw this comment and am just now catching up! It was written for Ben Olson. He died over 20 years ago, can you believe that? And I just wrote this last summer. Sometimes it's like a veil drops and no time has passed at all.


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