He wanted a marching band
to follow the street sweeper,
a barrel organ in every bank lobby,
a shooting gallery at the public library,
a trained bear to deliver mail,
booths of sweets on every street corner.
He thought, with all of this, he might
come to crave silence,
to appreciate bird song and green tea,
pleasures which had always eluded him.
Excess was the only path to simplicity
he could imagine, though he searched
every day for what he expected
the entrance to tranquility might look like:
a narrow trail tiled with tarot cards,
lined with flickering candles,
leading to a glade in Sri Lanka
where elephants roll in wild grass,
and a boy from the tea factory
sits quietly, eating cotton candy
and listening to stars.
This poem appeared in Sugar House Review (Volume 3, Spring/Summer 2011)