by Terry Ann Carter
Of all the temples in Angkor
and there must be at least forty—
Banteay Srei is my favourite:
I imagine the fingers of women
holding the implements to carve
pink sandstone, quartz arenite into
small delicate roses trailing lintels.
Foliage. Female dancers, perfect
in proportions. Their loosely draped skirts
and heavy earrings almost moving
in an intimate gesture toward friendship.
This is a thing you need to touch
as though tapping these secrecies would
breathe life into cold stone.
A blessed mood erases the wasted
fields, the blood soaked earth of earlier
roads. I am reminded of the Buddhist proverb:
the fallen flower never returns to the branch
the broken mirror never again reflects.
I close my eyes to recall a favourite haiku—
the falling flower
I saw drift back to the branch
was a butterfly
the chakra of my spine, split open.
From Day Moon Rising, Windsor, Ontario: Black Moss Press, 2012.