When she leaves he and I don’t know what to do, we are at a loss, he at the table at the center of the damaged city in a clearing of light among mists and I here at my desk in this moment of where has she gone what will he do does he see who she is will he follow her.
As the sound of her heels fades on the paving stones the light begins to contract.
Every street looks equally empty to him no matter where he runs looking for her everywhere is a maze in progress, hedges of khaki scaffolding between small piles of what had been a house promising a precise replica of what is no longer there.
Because I stand up and step away from his time and his panic I can see her clearly from here:
Her body is the white of a conch shell
with one face and two hands.
Her hair flows down her back.
Her left hand supports a silver bell at her hip.
The right plays a golden drum in the sky.
NOTE: “The Dream About the Lady in the Café at the Grote Market, Ypres, Belgium, 1928” draws on Karma Chakme, Rgyun khyer lus sbyin bsdud pa, “Abridged Charity of the Body for Daily Practice,” in Machik’s Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chöd, translated by Sarah Harding (Ithaca, New York, and Boulder, Colorado: Tsadra Foundation, Snow Lion Publications, 33, 346).