Instead of The Golf Channel he slept through,
he stands at the foot hills of Mount Takao,
arms stretched upwards, and watches white
herons and geese announce our arrival to the cherry
blossoms, lilies of the valleys, wild cherries, passion-
flowers and roses, singing, with silky breaths,
their perfume into the breeze; sweet summer eagerness.
Instead of chilled beer poured in a frozen glass
he drinks hot tea, wisps of steam; warm and pleasant
and inviting, curl the outline of his mustache and open
him up the way a fighting conch stretches out of its shell
to dance in the current, loosening his grip once clenched
behind his barricade door, exposing his soft
pink and orange tenderness.
Instead of folded hands and knelt knees behind a pew,
he dances in a circle, kicking around mud, under visions
of the Pure Land breaking through the clouds beside the sun’s
ascension in the East dissolving the morning’s dew
and exposing permanent meadows softened with running
rivers teaching dharmas, while he invents games for the gathered
listeners like a laughing Buddha, like a dad.
Tate Lewis recently graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a double major in English-writing and Religion. This is his third publication ever but his second from the manuscript he is currently compiling. His upcoming book of poetry’s determination is to not only focus the reader’s eye on the ugliness of a futile struggle against death but also his discoveries of his father within and apart from fatherhood. His work has also been featured in Better than Starbucks and The American Journal of Poetry.
The Ekphrastic Review
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