Burning the Buddha
Barefoot, stepping on grasshoppers,
I come through the door you left open
and return to the bedroom and the bed
where you remain, sitting cross-legged,
wanting to know if I have again found my quiet.
Not until I'm dead, I say,
as I lie down, scorching the sheets
in the shape of a body.
For I am not yet ancient, nor wish to be
one more wise, king-faced statue
carved in petrific bone. I am fire,
and your sad, asbestos smile blocks
the flames rolling over my skin;
even as a witness, you will not burn,
but with a voice like sand
settling into dunes,
you exclude the mattress,
you exclude the sheets,
you exclude the argument of my body
until you are again the guru,
fixed on a mountain peak.
I grab your naked foot and spin you,
wrenching your stomach
around the up-thrust earth
threatening lava and smoke.
You will try to say you watched from above,
suspended from a spider thread,
but I know already your trap doors,
your politic retreats.
My teeth reach up to clip your thread;
you will tremble in this earthquake,
astral Buddha with your palms together,
you will suck this bile
and spit back fire.
© Emily Gaskin
Emily Gaskin currently lives and writes in Tallahassee, FL. Her work
has appeared in Strange Horizons, Glyph, and a number of online
publications, including Literary Potpourri, Pif, and Ideomancer.
Submit your comments on this story to our MoxieTalk
discussion group by clicking here!
You can also send your comments directly to the author using the
You can do both by typing your response below,
submitting it and then copying it, going to MoxieTalk, and pasting it
into the form there for posting a message.
copyright 2002 Moxie Magazine All Rights Reserved