Too Many Coats, Too Many ColorsWhen I went to see the Lord Buddha,
he was appearing in Denver,
so I walked one thousand miles -
and I thought, ah! I shall be as new and simple
as a new-born Amish, and wear a wide brimmed hat
and use no electricity
and ignore the internet
and salt my speech with words archaic...
When I went to see Jesus
he was fishing on the sea
so I walked the one thousand miles
and swam the last eleven, like an iron man competition
or triathlon, as young as when I was young indeed
and wore a Speedo
and acted selfless
and spoke in parables and shy smiles...
When I went to hear the Prophet,
and when I took a taxi
to Union Square to hear the Reb Akiva
I spoke Arabic and Hebrew like a real dākhil
standing by the Western wall or standing up above,
and wore a kafiya
as I strutted,
and a fine high shtreimel...
And when I arrived, I was too late.
Weighed down with the right clothes,
the correct ideas, and impostures of "holy" folk,
I had imperceptibly slowed to a crawl
as I dragged endless chains of beliefs
behind me across the desert,
raising a cloud of dust
into the sky,
as Hubble's high!
(Arab) dakhil: Arab citizen of Israel
shtreimel: a fur hat