Passing through Boca Raton and Joining the Buddhist Sangha for an Evening

This Jewish-looking Buddhist
Serenely sitting seven feet away from me
Her long braided black hair a mindful marvel and work of art
Her half-smile that could make Thich Nhat Hanh himself weak in the knees
Her eyes that could disarm the Burmese junta
While I’m thinking about her
She’s concentrating like Shantideva moving full steam ahead toward samadhi

I won’t say a word to her tonight
I won’t join my palms in greeting
I won’t curse my shyness
I won’t will to change
I won’t wish for another chance
Face it:
I’ll never see her again

Two weeks later I’m sitting on the front porch drenched in sunshine
And the mailman hands me a Chagall postcard from Bella Levenshtein

–from the novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

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