The Buddha doesn’t give a damn

You look so beautiful, at peace
and in your own spirit
, says a friend
that the Buddha has not seen in a while.
She beams and hugs her back, while mentally
reminding herself to check in the mirror
for what might have spurred this compliment.
The Buddha has her hair loosely pinned up
because of the humidity; she’s in dark-
colored jeans, a t-shirt, and faded cardigan
even on a workday, just because comfort
now comes first. Every so often, on special
occasions, she’ll wear a dress and heels,
put on some makeup— foundation, eye
shadow, lipstick, mascara. Now that she’s
past 50, she finally knows what it means
to not give a damn: to be unbothered
by the decision to not go out drinking with
her students; to eat breakfast for dinner
and dessert for breakfast; to not be non-
plussed when a wind lofts her skirt above
her knees, when a rolling wave slaps down
the top of her strapless swimsuit at the public
beach. She simply tugs the offending garment
back in place, smiles, shrugs, carries on.

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