Above the din of Amy’s café
in the backroom overlooking the river
loud words drift over to our table,
Did the Dalai Lama ever have a job
like shinning shoes? The old Vermonter
leans towards his wife who's eating a croissant
looking away from him.
I want to reach across the room
and tell him “yes” about my dream
of the Dalai Lama in a glass airport tower
directing traffic on the runway
of life and death and that his question
isn’t so ridiculous as his wife’s response suggests.
I want to tell him that the monk once held my left hand
at a reception while he massaged my palm
looking into my eyes talking of nothing much
as he rearranged my subtle energies,
my right hand gripping
the glass of white wine until I jumped
in recognition of what was happening.
So strange, so intimate, so wonderous--
the shock of his kind gesture in passing,
as loud as the man’s words in the café.
by Jacqueline Gens