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Today's poem is by David Hernandez

Wile E. Coyote Attains Nirvana

It is neither by indulging in sensuous craving and pleasures,
nor by subjecting oneself to painful, unholy and un-profitable
self-torture, one can achieve freedom from suffering and rebirth.
—from
The Four Noble Truths

No wonder after each plummet
down the canyon, the dust cloud
of smoke after each impact,
he's back again, reborn,
the same desire weighing
inside his brain like an anvil:
catch that bird. Again
with the blueprints, the calculations,
a package from the Acme Co.
of the latest gadgets. Shoes
with springs, shoes with rockets,
but nothing works. Again
the Road Runner escapes,
feathers smearing blue across the air.
Again the hungry coyote
finds himself in death's embrace,
a cannon swiveling towards his head,
a boulder's shadow dilating
under his feet. Back
from the afterlife, he meditates
under a sandstone arch
and gets it: craving equals suffering.
The bulb of enlightenment
blazes over his head.
He hears the Road Runner across
the plain: beep-beep. Nothing.
No urge to grab the knife
and fork and run, no saliva
waterfalling from his mouth.
Just another sound in the desert
as if Pavlov's dog forgot
what that bell could do to his body.



Copyright © 2002 David Hernandez All rights reserved
from Crab Orchard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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