Burning Monk

From the remains
of his cremation,
the monks recovered
 
the seat of Thich Quang Duc’s
consciousness —
 
a bloodless protest
to awaken the heart
of the oppressor
 
offered
at the crossing of
Phanh Dinh Phung
                                     & Le Van Duyet
doused in gasoline &
immolated by 4-meter
flames the orange-robed
 
arhat folded in
the stillness
of full lotus
 
his body withering
his crown blackening
 
his flesh charring
his corpse collapsing
 
his heart refusing to burn
his heart refusing to burn
his heart refusing to burn
 

Shin Yu Pai, "Burning Monk" from Adamantine.  Copyright © 2010 by Shin Yu Pai.  Reprinted by permission of White Pine Press, www.whitepine.org.
Source: Adamantine (White Pine Press, 2010)
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