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Manhattan Buddha

by Mark Smith-Soto

Straight-backed, seated on the window ledge,
he looks down at traffic pebbling the street
ninety floors below, the hair at the back of his neck
about to catch, nothing but morning air under
his dangled feet. The flames behind him make
the sound of waves trying to clutch the sand
they just canít hold, the way they never could.
He sees it all and smiles. There is no
humbug in him, in his oblique worship
of the horizon, the seagulls, the faithful ferries
dragging like dunked flies across the water;
his face alert as if he watched God watching,
he opens his arms and falls -- leaving me here
inside, clinging to myself, the walls on fire.


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