Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Big Blind Is All There Is

 Image result for sri lanka

shantha missed earth day this year,
buried with her daughter under four feet of rubble.
she taught Westerners how to tame
the flames of curry with a side of mild rice
—until the windows shattered,
until the lobby exploded,
until their tongues were slathered with ashes
and only death could cleanse their palates.


The men brought cameras.
The reporter dusted her nose with powder.
“Here we go again, in the fourth (fifth?) hate (no, don’t say that!)
-TERRORIST attack this year.”

Let the finger pointing begin.
Who is responsible?
God, Thowheeth Jama’ath, Trump, in that order.
Throw in Al Quaida for good measure.
Also, the Sri Lankan government.
“They were warned!” cries the New York Times.
“They should have known better.”

Meanwhile the prayer warriors pause from drowning eggs in pastel colors
and gather en masse at their keyboard altars.
Pray for Sri Lanka, pray for New Zealand.
(Prayer does nothing, atheists hiss.
And the pagans are pissed.
“Funny how jesus had his coming-out-of-retirement
party on our special day…”)

Funny how such a beautiful time of year is capable of such ugly things.
Funny how Man makes it that way.

Meanwhile in Negombo they’re still recovering bodies.
234, 241, 250…

Meanwhile over the Lakshadweep Sea off exit 23,
smoke creeps through the loblolly pines and
a man sings beside the charred walls of St. Mary’s,
“Deep river, my home is over Jordan,
Deep river, I want to cross over into campground…”

Meanwhile on Cameron Road the ghost of Guru Angad serves a plate
of gulab jubun to my son, and Sikh men wrap his head
in holy threads, saying “turbans are an expression of love.”

Outside my blond child runs wild in fields of burgundy winecups and pink primroses,
his turban unwinding in the wind, the sky above split between sleep and fire.
meanwhile over on a park bench Madre Tierre sits, playing Texas Holdem with a polar bear.
“The big blind is all there is,” she winks.
She doesn’t give a damn about her birthday.
“I got 10 billion species of plants and animals
waiting for Man to get his sh*t together.”
She leans in. The polar bear grins.
“Listen: your dead don’t want resurrection,
and your gods grow weary of you.
you can split your differences down the middle  and call it ‘faith'
but only love can cleanse your palates from hate.”

Erin Passons
April 22, 2019
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