Shin Yu Pai

The Diamond Path


the stone of my engagement
ring escapes from its setting
somewhere between

deboarding the plane
at midnight in the Inland
Empire & arriving

at my girlhood home
where the local saying is still
homicide, suicide, Riverside

when I wake on the first
day of my stopover,
a yawning loss where light

once winked, the attachments
I’ve fixed upon in my
misreading of the dharma:

there is always
suffering, something lost;
I grow accomplished

at trading attachments –
a father’s affection for a lover’s,
the restorative touch of

my naturopath’s hands;
I contemplate my wedding
band, remembering this vow:

a circle of gold,
engraved in the Indic script
of Avalokitesvara’s mantra,

a promise of recovery
& a dream for the true
wish-fulfilling jewel