The lama hits the white, soft, felt-covered mallet
Against the rim of the bowl.
It’s writing on water
It’s a knotted-up snake
That learns to untie itself
Of its own accord.
It’s a thief entering an empty house,
With nothing left to steal.
It’s a Kleenex flung into the air, not torn or wetted or wrinkled.
Just flung, like a bride leaping too high
or the shape of a bird against a lavender evening.
Nothing left to hold
Nothing to abandon in each of our private abandonings.
Trying too hard or not dropping enough
Means no sacred writing on silken surface,
No slippery slide of scale-on-scale
A locked-out thief
With empty breath and loose ends.
In the end, none of this matters.
As insignificant as the bit of orange juice
Left forgotten and un-sipped
At the bottom of the cook’s goblet
On the marble kitchen counter
After all the other dishes
Have been washed, dried, and put away.