“Bamiyan,” seven poems by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. (poetry, ’09) appears in the Summer 2012 issue of New Haven Review.


Light of Asia

We still have him, in the plains, on an early lintel,
as an absence at the center of each story:

a flower, footprints, a wheel between kneeling deer.

But his words grew difficult to see.

It was hard to hear his hands. And so they began

to define and carve the balanced postures

and proportions of his princely torso:

the head with its raised crown, the long-lobed ears,
soft half-lidded eyes, half-smile, the dexterous

gestures of compassion,

blessing, protection, absence.

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