Poem 12: Buddha

Gollum had it right.
“My precious,” he trilled,
eyes grown overlarge,
grasping hands stretched
thin and knobby —
the better to reach you with,
my dear.

If I could hold you tightly enough,
so tight seconds failed to tick
and light forgot to pulse,
we could claim forever.
The planets could circle the sun,
the sun the Milky Way,
the universe could expand
into a chilly and
breathless existence,
and still we would cling,

You are a better Buddhist than I.
You live with no expectations,
give freely,
understand the balance of love and pain.
You own nothing,
even though I would give you
the gold from my teeth,
the water from my cells,
the breath from my lungs.

If I could wrap my fingers around you
just tightly enough,
you could never squirt away
and swim toward
the whirlpool’s center.

Like Gollum,
I do not know how to love
without claiming,
can never know loss
without anguish.


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