Somewhere in this wicked world
Maybe in India, yes, say, India
A man or a woman
Yes, say, a woman
Has opened the back door of her small shop
A tea room. Maybe a spice stand.
Yes, say, a spice stand.
She is sitting on a bucket, or a burlap bag of spices
In the instant the eternal dawn
Which is always breaking somewhere
Breaks on her understanding.
In this moment, which is always this moment
In her left hand are her sorrows
In her right hand a cup of steaming tea
She has become a secret saint.
Her eyes opened wide
For the first time she truly sips her tea.
The urban smells of the alley
And the other shops as they open wide
She smells them truly the way -
No good smells, no bad smells –
a baby would find them.
The rising swell of urban babble streams
She discovers she truly knows
For the first time.
She will never study the Sutras.
They don’t speak of her breasts
And the desperate babies they’ve nursed
Or the secret wounds of the heart.
She has not meditated
She has lived the eternal instant
Feeding and doing, including, including all things
In the sweep of her wide arms
The Bodhisattva of the spice bins
Opens her lips in this final triumphant life
“Ah – hah!”