Ani Gjika

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 fromĀ Bread on Running Waters (Fenway Press, 2013).