Because here in West Kentucky
on the potholed streets of a town
that sits in the pit of a river’s
brown bend, there are times
a soul gets hungry. And a hungry
soul should be fed. Which is what,
I imagine, the Buddha might say,
if the Buddha believed in a soul.
Or if he drove through town in a bright
white hearse, windows tinted black,
with Dead Man’s Chicken & Ribs
painted red atop his windshield,
hawking food to those who need it.
And I swear this car exists. That it tows
with a hitch an old hickory smoker
and gleams when the light hits right.
Though I’ve never tried the food, I think,
every time it passes, how each day’s
a step to the grave and all we know
is burning. Oh Buddha off wood-smoke
and ash, let our days’ raw want fall pink
like meat from slow-cooked bone.