Imperishable Body

And what of the monk who asked to be buried
in the cedar box where he sat, lotus-legged,

until his body was exhumed, pried
loose from its yellow silk wrappers,

a full 75 years from the event? The five
cavities of the face gently blurred,

the ears that had not lost their
articulation— After all this time

beneath the loam, skin and joints,
unsalted loaf of the body still soft,

surprisingly pliable; though the yeast
had long since dissolved in the ordinary mud.

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