Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Night

I disrobe my walls by candlelight
as my faceless attendant follows in step,
blowing his shakuhachi.
After I had finished with the last hanging
we sat down and poured wine.
The komuso lay his flute on the table and said: A man once came from far away to visit me
and asked where all my furniture was.
I asked him
, 'where is yours?'
'Me? But I am only a visitor here.'
As am I.
I nod and empty my glass.
The candles' flames swayed with gentle drunkenness,
revealing tiny bumps covering the gessoed plaster walls.
I get up and take the wall hangings into the closet,
wrapping them in soft blankets, and laying them in cedar beds
before blowing out the light and sealing the door.
They rest in tombs until Easter, as I lay down in my cell
to sleep until morning.

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