Little black ants are invading our bathroom.
They're coming in through a hole in our tile.
Tonight I look at one walking all over my floss case.
I have trouble crushing the ants.
But if I inadvertently flick one into the sink
and stare up at a spot on the wall
I seem to have no trouble flipping the faucet on,
full blast, and hosing him down the drain.
Grandma says I should write "it" -- should hose "it"
down the drain. "Him," Grandma says,
"is too..." and she pauses...
I'm on the phone with my grandma.
She has no idea what the fuck she is saying.
They say one of the hardest things
for the young monks to master is
I close my eyes and see a very large man
with a bright orange vest and hard hat.
When a young monk is battling distraction
they send him down the mountain
to take tennis lessons from the heathens.
The large man is yelling sown
into an open manhole in
the middle of 42nd St.
Something about Gustav Mahler.
It's convincing, the young monk in the rain
with his wire basket of new balls.
"Mahler had visions, Douglas!
The new balls smell like Magic Markers.
Grandma is still making her point.
This is what I like about her.
Her voice comes somberly through the little grate
in my cell phone.
from Thin Kimono (Wave Books, 2010)