Bodhisattva Remains

Clayton Eshleman
for Mary Heebner

Bodhisattva A: lotal expansion destroyed by
rampaging 18th-century Burmese brutality.
Crossed legs now support a blown-apart torso.
Vallejo’s Venus de Milo: the damaged truer than the complete?
Rising off the remaining platforms stumps
float in a void, inverted broken hammers.
Ayutthaya is a wound with a thousand streams.

Bodhisattva B: why did the Burmese leave the crossed legs,
destroy just heads and torsos? Curious plant forms,
gibbous posts, as if the practice of meditation
supports rapine configurations.
As if meditation circles about a wagon-jammed center.
Meditation as scouts on horseback
circling enwalled pioneers. Circumference invaded center.
The mind in hachet to itself.

Bodhisattva C: chest halved, side
a precipice, as if one might climb into neckless light—
light without jugular flow
light as headless sheen.

Bodhisattva D: crossed legs on warped platter.
“Sunyata is served.” War as the anti-raga of love.
We live in a fugal meadow/abattoir:
the lover’s tears scarlet with tinged prescience of
what’s to come. Iraqi marketplace, 2007:
explosion-loaded Down Syndrome girls
pushed like blind animals into the crowd.


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