Bodhisattva Ordination on Camp St.
by Amanda Mitzel
Sunday at the Zen Temple
is sweet and form-bound and mystic in its
church bells making a pinball racket against
the tropical greens and oranges of the paintings,
the space silver of the eyes of ensos.
Red wine collects in glasses, in mouths
like cistern water or inlets of tannin
in the land of Mark West.
Ten hours earlier, I swallowed an orange tablet
with a tiger’s face
and spent an epoch stroking the crest of
my cat Hiba’s head like she was a statue of
some fish-eyed deity.
They’re playing John Lennon at the piano,
the singer’s hair red gold,
her father’s the same,
their voices twisted together: velvet-hollow vines.
Out the back window, high rises
then the mud curves of the Mississippi.
I can hear the wind and today I can see it, too.
My friend Rose is there and I fall in love
with the halo of her hair,
the skylight making shapes of crescents and arrowheads
on the black twist of her kesa.
Amanda is a nurse and writer living in New Orleans. She loves sumo and storms.