Norman Dubie is the author of more than 20 books. He has received numerous national grants and prizes, including the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association. He teaches at Arizona State University. Photograph by Matthew Valentine.
The Buddha on the Road
It was a Roman road with red cypress.
He is slain, a heavy walnutof quartz straight
to his eyebrow from a slingshot
of hemp and cowhide. Well met,
is what he thought. Dead before
he met the dust of the road. The sun's
torch on the suburbs of Antioch.
A buddha fallen to tainted pig
or a white river rock
on the highway to Damascus. A sun swelling.
Finally, just another prince
dead in the dust, and of-
of course he saw it coming.
You didn't. This familiar
bigotry of love.