Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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T.R. HUMMER

Adornment on an Ancient Tomb in Tibet

They bear a venerable weight on poles balanced on their shoulders,
      the sum of their incarnations bundled in leather and tied
With thongs. Windblown snow makes their burden heavier.
      To compensate, they cast off memories. This side
Of the Mountain, the ice pack is littered with stories
      left behind by other pilgrims. Traveler, you dare
Not touch them: they are poisonous histories
      of men and women frozen in tableaus of desire
And stranded forever in this wilderness. Shift the pain
      of the pole on your left shoulder. Stumble on.
The ice will come for you soon enough, bless├ęd one.    


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