Standard Checklist for Amateur Mystics

by Li-Young Lee

A lamp, so you can read the words on the tablet.
A hand to copy the sentences you find.
A hand for you to rest your head.

Feet to dance the gist of what you find.
A bird to scour your heart.
A bird to help you pronounce the sentences.

Breath to fan the fire’s nest.
A kiln to test the choice.
A crown to keep underfoot.

Two eyes to see the one in one.
Three to see the two in one.
Seven to see the all in one.
A hand to cross out your name.

A donkey to carry your shit.
A monkey to filch change and food.
A brother to point out the way.
A sister to redeem the refused.
A sister to ransom the straw.
A sister to wake you with kisses
When you’ve fallen asleep on your opus.

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