When you're a certain kind of hermit
—last in line at school, always looking to slip off,
choosing poverty over commuting—
there's a suspicion your last life was spent
introducing bureaucrats to royalty
or eternally waiting on some lady.
This round's hermitage was decided
long before you ever cut class to hide in a cave.
We were sitting by water.
A black fly landed on my mala,
(skull beads, carved from bone)
stuck his feet in the eye holes, paused in a mouth to rub its head.
Impermanence, I thought,
labeled it thought,
Erin Virgil is a poet and essayist, she lives in an RV. She holds an MFA from Naropa University and her work has been published by Monkey Puzzle Press, Fast Forward, Indigo Ink, Wolverine Farm, and others. She's got a chapbook coming out in early 2014 from Dancing Girl Press.