Compromismo/2 (Reading/3)

by Mark Chmiel

Dear Professor

So last night I went with my friends to this bar
The same bar they’ve been going to for two years
Drinking the same overpriced drinks they always drink
Making the same chit-chat with the same guys who always come up to them
Listening to the same trite music
And people were making fewer intelligible comments with each passing minute
And the air was so thick with insecurity and false bravado
And I looked at my watch and realized I’d already been there for two hours
And I looked around at all the gaming and fretting and distraction and sadness of it all

And what popped into my mind was the time you used the expression ‘American Samsara’
And then I remembered that April day when we’d been reading Learning True Love
(Don’t ever take that book off of your syllabus!)
And you asked for two volunteers
And one person was to be herself and ask a question to the other person
And I was the other person who was supposed to channel Chân Không
And in that bar with its mindlessness and midnight mayhem
I remembered to breathe

Breathe in
Breathe out
In
Out
Deep
Slow
Calm
Ease
Present moment
Only moment

And I walked out the door
And back home
Smiling

Thank you!

Neeta Gupta

ChanKhong

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