Owl asked, "What do you think of the doctrine of reincarnation?"Verse
Raven said, "Not my body."
Owl said, "Maybe my terminology is mistaken. What do you think of the doctrine of rebirth?"
Raven said, "Not my beak."
This body -- this skinbag with its names and habits,AndThis body -- the world and stars; vast, void, unnameable:
How is this body also this body?
(How much stranger if it weren't.)
It's like children, how they belong to all of usAndBy established convention, there's special responsibility for my own.
The general, easy to forget;
The special, impossible to.
It's like that.
As a toddler demands my attention,AndWhen she doesn't, compels it nonetheless,
This bag of water, poop, and karma --
Of eros and of dust, Auden said --
Requires attentionAndAttending, I notice
The little one's riveting eyes declare:
This body is this body.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonPREVIOUS ☙ INDEX