Meditations on Anicca
by two aspiring buddhas

With our god's eye view of us: 

in the spray of roses  
that tremble on the tabletop from the 
thrusting bed, your lotus-soft fingers on my lips 
spelling 'feel' and 'live' in strokes 
as fragile as your collection of china dolls, 

as your poet's heart says: 
i will be anything to you — like the plum tree 
bears both fruit and bare branches in proper seasons —,

the dim sum carts are rolling past one 
on the wall of a chinese restaurant in berkeley: it 
is neither, but in bloom: those frail petals, fluttering 
fighting for fruitation, arise from nights spent 

on windowless sills, smoking — until the hand shivers 
like a sick child: who drinks in dim bars, falling asleep 
to jazz or who huddles with the homeless, to wake 
under the shadow of after-midnight new moon: alone, 

hoping to discover a blue-painted jungle gym,  
a dragon of bars from which joy hangs like a paper lantern;
but these children's constructions have grown too complex: 
you say of its structure, "too postmodern" 

while we sip coffee in the midst of wall-cracked shops 
and post-industrial wasteland, what you deem lovely; and home,
a warehouse room: the reek of rotting floorboards 
made by the woman-next-door who set fire to her wastebasket
with incense, praying for a rain of sprinklers to wash 
away her weary existence 

into the downtown Oakland lake — 
where a blackbird finds a fine balance 
on a buoy, between flight and fall:  wings waving ... 

we see the ending. 

Driving back across the san mateo bridge,
gray-blue ocean surrounding a thin strip of land — 
we are silent while passing toll booths, without our licenses —
and dukkha: the sorrow of the finite, speaks 
its subtle, soft-spoken voice saying, 
"                        ."