Paul Ilechko

Paul Ilechko
is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Thin Air Magazine and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.

The Buddhists Survey the Slaughterhouse

A composite music of intervals     and dreams
of bruises and swallowed words     as the rain
lashed the sky outside the window     where the Buddha
dozed between drags of his cigarette     surrounded by
his golden followers     all waiting for their chance to gleam

all mired in regret     they watched
the slaughterhouse gates swing open     and saw the sadness
of a herd that hobbled inside in single file
treading carefully in each other’s footsteps
carving a line through the excrement of generations

its traces never cleansed by power washing
despite best efforts     the hoof prints clear and visible
readable as prediction     readable as palmistry
readable as awful premonition     readable as the certainty
of death     as Buddha slowly burned.

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