Had she stayed
Had she not stepped up
Into the train that carried them down
From the hills to the plane
Home through Rangoon and Vientiane
She would know that
What kailāsaranashiva
In the cripple’s mouth after he spat
At them, at the standing boxcars,
Means is
O Lord Shiva on Mount Kailash
Moon-Jeweled Serpent-Crowned
Ocean of Mercy Remover of Delusion,
Protect me I surrender

Published in:
Poetry Daily, 20 March 2014, reprinted from The Beloit Poetry Journal.