Siddhartha left . . .
in autumn when the leaves crackled gold
and the evenings were cool blue
or was it the flat red of summer.
He left her to her own devices
when the babies were asleep
and there was still a moist sweat
on her thighs, between her breasts
as she lowered the netting of her bed.
While he was following his breath
she was following the breath of babies
the food they took, the sleep they forgot
the fevers, the shit, the warm kisses
babbling, morning baths, new teeth.
When The Buddha returned . . .
Mrs. The Buddha bowed to him
smiling from the golden throat
of a lotus blossom.