jack galmitz | tulia's gift

Tulia’s Gift

In our living room
On the small altar
Devoted to the Buddha of Compassion
There is a clay vessel
In which my wife places
Three sticks of incense each morning
And lights them.
As the scented smoke
Ascends to the ceiling,
I can always hear her
Reciting a mantra
To the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The vessel is glazed
And has found its proper place
Amongst the exalted.
Twenty-four years ago
This winter
A woman named Tulia
Placed it on my bookcase
In Buffalo when I was
Very much a lonely drifter.
The newly rented rooms were bare
Save for the glassy black of windows
And aluminum trimmings and polyurethane floors.
She left beauty when she disappeared.

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