Her Karma is all in her head.
Wherever she goes it follows:
dog on the leash of her tongue.
Karma walks her to the corner in town
with a red dress on.
Karma sets her up in an apartment.
Karma is the rent, always due.
She comes back every night,
cooks Karma dinner—
that demanding tyrant, refusing to clean up.
Karma follows her to the mirror.
She can't distinguish between them,
their wrinkles identical
and when she dies
Karma will hold her
like a promise.
Julie Rogers's new book of poetry is House of the Unexpected, Wild Ocean Press. She is also the author of five chapbooks and a Buddhist hospice manual, Instructions for the Transitional State. Her poems have been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies including Poets Against the War and Beatitude: Golden Anniversary, 1959-2009. She often reads with her husband, poet David Meltzer, in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere. In 2012, she will read from her new book on October 2 and 19 in Berkeley, October 7 in Los Angeles, and on October 14 in San Francisco. See the calendar or visit www.julrogers.com.