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Praying to an Idol

I am kneeling on a buckwheat cushion
dusty from the fallen residue of incense
as the soul,
fragrance of all pleasantries
that can be wrung out of flowers,
rises up towards the red terraced roof.
The body, gray joss ashes
held in limbo between blessings,
is pestled beneath the knees and closed palms of worship,
catching the tautology of prayers
as they writhe on the ground, unrealized.
There is nothing more that you can do.
He is already dead.
Sitting up now,
I see sculpted faces—
deprived of mortal hunger, a pool of infinite inertia
frissoning beneath eyelids:
how they can be so unmoved,
and make me wonder if enlightenment is schadenfreude
or sociopathy.
Outside the temple,
a firepit burns in mourning:
men tossing into the inferno money for the dead
as he travels into the underworld,
mothers holding onto their children with eternal longing.
You are the world to his world.
He is waiting for you.

27 Nov 10

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I love the contrast between the two italicized lines.
 — unknown

Thank you. Though if you really look into it, they really aren't in contrast at all...
 — Sequiturist

It's so lovely, I think again when i read it out aloud, "my baby is indeed my daddy."
 — unknown