I begin to discern different styles of carved
elephants and gods. These have four thick legs
with room underneath for a pedestal fifth. Here,
divinity’s stone wrist has relaxed beyond nature.
An immense white elephant soars into a dream
and wraps its belly and legs around my car.
Above me now, the white plumeria.
I expect orchids and teak,
not this grove of star-blossoms
announced by emissary sweetness
in the moist air. Five creamy petals
thicken to a butter center, then
a thousand thousand times proliferate,
jostling into galaxies suspended overhead.
reaches the Buddha’s immense, crossed
shins. I could brush my cheek against the fingers
draped earthward and tipped with gold. His chest
fills with incense. I’ve seen it happen --- when stones meditate,
they assume the shape of breath. Even the dullest pebble
can become the nipple erect on a god’s soft breast.
Published in Wisconsin Review, and forthcoming in the author’s
collection, Island (Red Hen Press).