Rest Cure

The Reclining Buddha welcomes you
to his abode as you enter through
the back door. Yes, thirst

is a significant symptom and salt
a dream more potent than water.
It makes bitter fruit sweeter,

can sometimes take away the sting
of thorns. The Medicine Buddha
wants to know if you still dream

in more than one language, if you
remember the first taste placed
on your tongue after you emerged,

frail and wracked, out of a month-
long fever. You’ve heard of cures
for lassitude and sadness,

for anger, lovesickness,
boredom. You can have them all
as long as you drink only one

spoonful out of the right
pewter cup. Lie as still
as you can, look straight

up at the ceiling. Now do you
remember pressed fleur-de-lis
patterns on rose gold tile,

blue tilting shadows under the deck
umbrella? You may remember the voices
that came and hovered over you, brought

morsels of rice to your lips,
precious crust that caramelized
at the bottom of the rice pot.

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