A Lama Sits with a Murderer before Execution
The two of us sit outside the Oklahoma churchyard,
cross-legged in filth.
We listen to cardinals tear the crabtree twigs apart
and weave a nest inside the belfry.
Our eyes are closed.
The sun licks our bare shoulders
as the heavy wing of night lifts to prayer.
We see eternal mystery
rest on the lanterns that lead across the road,
to the hospital ward.
We feel spirits leave prisoners’ windows,
like plastic bags caught in an updraft.
We have reverence for the fence posts
that mark the walkway, as we tiptoe
around newly opened tulips, to the courtroom
and the chair.
The Trauma Victim Meditates
Solar flares, black holes,
ant farms, magnifying glasses,
Noah and the Flood.
Pop Rocks, the ice cream shop
in Burlington, the preschool
Our aborted baby’s casket buried
at Hart island, the American flag
half-mast over Potters Field.
Leaves turning in New England,
sleigh bells in West Texas.
the odd silence of our walk-in closet,
when his finger no longer keeps
the rhythm warm.
The rising hum of a swarm
of wasps, my father
cleaning out rain gutters.
And between the curves
of my breath, I noticed
that it was snowing.
Snowing. What a strange thing love is
that it can swallow darkness.
Dylan Debelis is a publisher, poet, performer, chaplain, and Buddhist practitioner based out of New York City. A candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry, Dylan embodies his faith in praxis through his pastoral care and social justice activism. In sermons, writings, and worship, Dylan weaves grotesque worlds, loving embraces, and an off-kilter wit to lead the audience or congregation in a very unorthodox prayer.