Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1



Protection Cord
    from the Dalai Lama

Save me, don’t bind me up.
Stay brilliant orange like the robes
of the monks,

protect me from those who laugh
out of the sides of their mouths,
let me weep in common decency

and give me the luxury to not be
brave in the face of illness.
Protect me from the narrative

of triumph: how I conquered
pain and became a famous person;
save me from the eternal upbeat

of that song. Protect my shame
and keep it intact in the face of recovery;
protect my guilt from the mind-doctors.

Let me listen to its crabby, broken voice,
its daily drone. Let me be cured from
cure itself, the perfection dream

derived from every story ever told.
Let story spin out of control.
Protect me from control.