cholera

over the doctor’s shoulder
I hallucinated Green Tara
ethereal light all around
she winked at me
and I smiled
“yes, please yes, I’m ready”
but I wasn’t
or she wasn’t
and the doctor found a vein

later he said it was
his personal best
bringing someone back
from that far gone
I remember him telling
the little Indian boy
to run

fast

to get the list of medical things
he’d just given him

I had started feeling sick
just after breakfast
and quickly lost many litres
of body fluids
from both ends
I was staying in a monastery
in Bodh Gaya
and in my cell
rupturing my life
into a bucket
I was trying to raise the alarm
but then kept passing out
this cycle
went around and around
for two or three hours
before someone heard me

an English doctor
months later
said it was most likely
cholera
Christ on a bike! cholera!
well
another close call I guess

from that I know
that I’m not afraid to die
it’s to be alone forever
in that infinite void
that’s what grips me
the utter cold panic
frozen isolation
a desolation so complete
the Queen of the Dead herself
would turn away
in fright