Zen Thing
By Christopher J. Bradley

I think I just did a Zen thing.
I learned how to breathe
and my lungs allowed me to do it.

I saw a sign yesterday.
"Get Your Butt Out Of My Face"
Teaching with aversion.
I don't think that it always works.
I still have the strong urge to smoke
cigarettes when I see people
destroying themselves
destroying their families
destroying their communities
destroying their habitat.

I can feel the maple leaves burning
when I breathe.

When I breathe
the inside of my face burns like fire.
But the leaves they drip with acids in the
water hanging in the air.
Are the leaves as strong as my lungs?
Can my lungs show their color
with the twisting of the sphere?

My maple has been growing for
twenty-nine years.
It is being sapped by our shortcomings.
I will guess that my casket
will be constructed of its body
and we will rest in peace together :

when we cease to breathe
when the water washes us
back into the earth
and the sun warms
the whole
of who we are.

The presences of existing nature.