Local Practice

I am the Buddha of Long Island.
Listening to the Brotherhood of shoppers.
Resting
beneath the spreading
Information sign.
Answering
questions
about the price of a pair of shoes
and how many times to return
a Blue
Power
Ranger
before getting a perfect one.

I am the Jesus
of the Cloisters.
A vague, bearded, Semitic visage
in a Sherman Street
bathroom window
of the junkies’
old clubhouse.
Thousands
of believers,
hopefuls
and the bored
fill the streets,
until the neighborhood
priest
decrees
there is nothing to believe in.

I am the far-seeing god
of Greek and Latin;
a neighborhood pusher
of buttons;
a sound opiate
in bite-sized pieces;
love,
and a little death,
in the palm of a hand.

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