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2001-10-24

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
B. 4.14.1891 Mahu, India / D. 12.5.1956 New Delhi
Parnirvana In Sleep

The boiling clamor of prayer bells, the rattle of axles and grinding of wooden wheels into dirt tracks; various knocks bangs and jingles marking collisions of leather with animal flesh and metal with metal and stone and wood; sandaled feet shuffling; calloused palms slapping countertops, haunches, sides of carts; puffs of sharp and sing-song voices—a clear, cold, incense-streaked market day noon on the National Mall, A.D. 2015.
I’ve had the itchiest bump on my arm—must be a spider bite.
The Buddhists really came out of left field—sure there were signs, the prison-monk movement, the ubiquitous catch-phrases (“My beyondness from this”), the man-hours sluiced from timesheets in the craze for half-day fucks—but who would have thought they had it in them to lead, to conquer, to rule? Who expected the mass conversions—whose charts stretched far enough to show those saffron seas? Who foresaw the engulfing of cities by baldness and peace, or the suburbs reverting to pasturage? Who knew the Buddhists had the Bomb?
Eight women, six hundred seventy-three Cipro tablets between them, they’ve counted. (One spent eighty on a rug in Kathmandu.) They’re all looking at my empty hands and I’m saying to myself, Whatever you do, don’t scratch anymore, and don’t cough.

Consolation Site: On a rough mat

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