169 – Satori

The freezing-night sūtra
Dodging the police,
Seeping under bridges
Over moon-reflecting ponds.

No wise teachings here,
Or smiles of knowledge.
Just the naked koan
Of survival.

What footprints to follow
On the trash fields
Where old rags
Bloom wildly?

Here and now
Gnaw the marrow
From old bones,
Flashing sly teeth
Of uncertainty.

A blanket of grimy frost,
Crawls into the corners
Of Salvation Army clothes
With better days
Behind them.

An empty bottle
Of cheap, liquid warmth,
Slides from a numb hand
And bursts into a thousand
Shiny butterflies.

Spray-painted angels whisper.
“It’s just death.”

A frozen Buddha,
Smiles forever
At the moon.

• • •

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