Blessed by the Dalai Lama
The cross is cool this morning
as I lean forward and it falls
against my left breast
I will warm it there
the pretty silver T on a red string
blessed by the Dalai Lama.
We found it where you slept one night
when you must have turned and pulled
the silver chain until it snapped.
I try to see you as you must have looked
when you turned away,
the moments it took for the bullet to enter
your shoulder and ricochet off your rib
and pierce your heart or lung or other precious organ.
Such a great spiritual leader—surely
his blessed string could have entered you,
could have retraced the path of anger
that tore through you
could have threaded its way
back, back, back
and closed the unnecessary hole
could have pulled the metallic smell of absence out.