when the young child showed him the kitten whose head 

her friends had opened with a trowel. 

How was he supposed to go on proclaiming a life free from attachment 

or whatever when this simple lack of symmetry so immediately undid him 

was his first thought, his second thought a blanketing 

of thanks when the cat raised its head 

and said I think we all can agree the saddest part of this entire dilemma 

is how even if you care your care will come to naught. The girl 

dropped it like that, let the holy father go back 

to doing nothing with the slow, oblique courtesy the villagers long ago 

agreed it would be misfortune to disrupt; she’d received from this the necessary 

lesson in withholding, so walked home hoping to explain her tardiness 

with a story about nothing but some clouds, how before they wandered down the day’s
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilast light 

they looked like two cupped hands offering their water to the closest open mouth.