On Form

My child says in her next life she should like
to be a potato, if a potato could make someone

happy— in other words, tuber grown in loamy
soil, starchy carbohydrate that converts to sugar

as soon as it’s eaten. And its green runners
streaking across the ground, every eye pinned

on its jacket a bud or a node— I thought of
the famous Flower Sermon, in which the Buddha

holds up a single lotus pulled up from the mud;
and of his apprentice Mahakasyapa who smiles

in understanding. The blue-green leaves are first
to unfurl on the surface of water in summer;

then, the fragrant double blossoms of deep pink.
Inside the matchstick curtain of stamens,

a seedpod the color of burnished yellow: shape
that marvelously resembles an expensive shower

fixture you could get from a hardware store— So
much form, simmering in brown and formless mud.


In response to Via Negativa: Replete.

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