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James Mc Elroy

Two Buddhist monks
Walk down a raked, gravel path.
Both monks are clothed in bright colors
And have, on their backs, small designer
Tote bags – Gucci. Pretty sure they’re

Close behind the first two monks, another
Monk trails a makeshift
Litter with an outsized leather bag
Resting on top. This bag holds the
Remains of a Zen Master now four
Nights gone, four days decomposed.

After the pallbearer passes,
Two more monks walk together in open
Silence with small designer totes
Resting on their backs – as before, Gucci.

Next, and these close on the heels
Of the Buddhists, four young
Trappist monks (Catholic) follow
In black and white habits with no tote
Bags anywhere to be seen: all four wear
Surgical masks to ward off the stench.
None of the monks – Buddhist or
Catholic -- are in search
Of anything that isn’t; anything
That is.