Lost and Found
Inside a Buddhist temple, inside a cave, among
tall golden statues, I feel nothing. I think of nothing.
I look around, wonder if taking photographs
is allowed. On their knees, eyes shut,
natives and tourists rock back and forth
as though straining together to give birth.
I imagine a single firefly stumbling into the cave,
its pulsing light rearranging space inside the mountain.
On my way out, I find a scrap of blue paper
on the stairs, fragments in Thai script
that I can’t read. I slip it in the pocket of my jeans,
wondering if a monk wrote a list of things he needs.
I hope it’s a monk’s attempt at poetry. Then
I’d understand the tearing it in pieces.
“Lost and Found” is from Bread on Running Waters (Fenway Press, 2013).