For Easter dinner I sat next to a Buddhist who claimed to have no thoughts
What do you mean “no thoughts”? I asked him
Where did they go?
What happens instead
On the inside and what fills your head?
He only smiled at me.
He smiled and nodded his slab of a head
But I was serious. How is that done?
He looked at me like I was dumb
Later on, I watched him blankly chewing a piece of cake
An urge to smash his face into the plate
How do you fill the time---the space---between the bites?
How do you imbue a mind with pure silence?
It seemed an act of violence----
A forfeiture, at best a bluff.
Not even a whisper or a cough
Like church when we were asked to bow our heads and pray
And instead of a higher communion I could hear
Only the creaking of pews and the scuffling of shoes
The birds twittering outside, the wail of a passing siren.
Instead of warm peace I felt only cold fear.
The whirling tumult of my inside world gone speechless, silent.
Nothing to say, haltingly austereWhen I most wanted to speak, when I most wanted to hear.