I am a trained illiterate.
Afraid of the monkeys in the valley.
They weren’t there to block my way. They lived there.
Logic is fear when faced with nature.
I was so afraid to cross to the waterfall on the other side.
Cowardly, I turned back to the little shack. It was hidden in the vastness of an unclear promise.
It was a place you’d notice only while crossing,
but it made you feel like you’ve earned your rest.
A monk sat beside me and a woman I didn't love.
She wanted me to cross to the other side.
But I wasn’t ashamed of defeat anymore.
I was with a woman I didn’t love at a place
where I once laughed with the one I did.
The crackling of dry leaves from the skirmish
of monkeys sank into the whistle of the
valley breeze, and I felt a sudden chill
through my spine that made the sunset feel ominous.
There was warmth of the tea cup in my nervous palms just before
the fracture of glass echoed my self-loathing.
I offered to pay for an entire tea set. The tea maker generously accepted my offer.
Silence. Just like that. Silence. The monk said impermanence, and left.