Encounters


The Meeting

Trying and failing
To save the job
Of a too-brave man--
He'd survived Vietnam and madness
The misfortune being
Pride in the chemically tidy face
Of authority--

I crossed Market
Past the beggars at McDonald's brick facade
Heading for Maybeck's pillars
Well beyond poverty and property
So intimately meant for a future accounting

And as traffic stalled just then--
In a side street lee
The Dalai Lama ejected
Out of the coach of a rented Continental
Half-bald, spectacling this way and that
He gathered his clay red robe
And scurried to the auditorium back door
While double-breasted suited Tibetans
Scanned past the cop-Harleys
Including at me looking back
Sharing for a second anyway
The pain of this beastly life


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