Monday Poem

Where Buddha Was
Jim Culleny

I thumb down the pile of books:

Paper Dance, 55 Latin Poets

Wislawa Szymborska, Poems
New and Collected

Poetry Like Bread (maybe the way
my mother made), Poets of the
Political Imagination

And Billy Collins Sailing Alone Around the

which is pretty much what we all
do to a great extent

until, at the bottom: Precise V5,

which is not a book at all
but the label on the black pen

that lies there in
incandescent light at the
bottom of the ziggurat of books,
its axis aligned with their stepped spines
upon the golden oak table so perfectly. There

for a moment Buddha was.

“See,” he says, “I'm not so far-fetched
as you'd hoped.”