Does the Buddha smile in hell?
Many devoted practitioners would immediately say
“Yes, of course, he is the Buddha after all”
Vast knowledge of the chain of cause and effect
Would he smile as he watched Sam Ybarra
Leading the battle cry while wearing a necklace of human ears
He sliced off from his Vietnamese victims?
Would he smile at 11 a.m.
Standing at the ditch at My Lai
March 16, 1968?
Would the Buddha smile
Walking by the Tiger Cages
Containing contorted human forms at Son Con?
Would he smile when seeing U.S. soldiers shoot buffaloes
Because they were bored out of their minds
Without any Vietnamese people to shoot at?
Would he smile among the children now deaf
Compliments of the handiwork of U.S. B-52 bombers
During the 1972 Christmas bombing of Hanoi?
Sometimes religious and philosophic affirmations seem so pristine
Far removed from mundane realities like war
But would the Buddha smile?