Under Golden Eaves

Got up at 6am to watch the monks
singing under golden eaves,
still hazy from sleep
like a drunkard
struggling to keep balance
fighting that morning hunger
that blackens your gut.

Bells ring and I look around
and I’m the only one not praying,
vending machine spits out
a ticket – entrance to the altar;
one way ticket to nirvana
I feel sick.

Gongs are struck till
people start leaving, but I
escape before them, out into
that crisp and lightness that comes only with a morning
in the mountains.

Now with matcha and sweet
I regain composure. Incense
still in my nostrils,
but my gut less black
more green, my lungs lighter
my eyes more adjusted, my head
less troubled.

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