I am kneeling down before a shadowy Buddha. I am in a temple, so I assume there is a Buddha at the other end of it. So dark and cool in the deepest part of shade. Vapor of ancient wood planks seep up to me through amber, knee-polished shellac.
Minutes before, the temple was closed. But children on rollerblades circled me in a frenetic cluster of broken hellos and, "where you from?". They buzzed me with smiles then quickly disappeared like a hand full of seeds thrown into tall grass. Then, a tentacle of poppy-colored robe lilts around a corner on a breeze, preceding a gentle man. Butterscotch skin, stark against the orange fabric. Not really butterscotch. More the color of where milk meets tea. I look at the dots where a shaved hairline or eyebrow might have once been. He stands, haloed by the black silhouette of the alleged Buddha. Light at the end of a tunnel smile, he unlocks the double-door chain that falls to the sidewalk with a pleasant, haphazard melody. A clatter made profound by place and moment.