Temple Garden (Konchi’in)

The dry sand garden
swirls here in tense circles
that come back upon each other,
tangled confusion.
The meaning that you once wore
unravels from you here,
but so too those faces you kept
that had grown too much like a skin,
and you had concealed behind them
every intention, every glance,
every rush of blood.
Where should you go from here,
stripped bare and raw
as that stone lantern
assaulted by the flying seasons?
But up there on that rock plateau,
the knarled pine, twisting now
into its final fall,
reveals itself without artifice,
in the way that its body has bent
to the kind and cruel years,
in the way that its heart is held tight
within the contorted trunk.

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