The Zen of La Llorona

by Deborah Miranda
La Llorona rises over my town ---
a solitary curve, sharpened by someone else's fury.

I read a small gray Zen book
Everyone loses everything.

Lovers, families, friends, possessions, egos --
we keep nothing of this world, not even our bodies.

It's as if you'd lost your favorite teacup, you see.
No amount of searching, weeping or wailing

will bring it back. If you want a drink,
use a different container.

Write a long series of passionate poems about your cup.
Hell, write a whole book. Obsession is the mother of creation.

But as you compose, sip from the new mug.
It will become your mug of choice.

You'll lose that one, too. And so on.
In theory, anyway, we outlast dispossession:

Ceramic mugs, hearts, continents.
Outside, La Llorona's knife slices the indigo heart

of silence. Nonsense, she howls. There's always
something left to lose.

From The Zen of La Llorona, Salt Publishing, 2005.
© 2005 Deborah Miranda

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