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The Buddha Head

I wonder if they see
Beneath the tranquil face
Of the Buddha Head.

Tourists, glass cases, PA's voice,
Closing time is in one hour.

Centuries ago, millenniums ago,
Monks knelt before him,
Where a headless body now remains.
Falling dynasties, opium,
Bombs, invasions of motherland.
In the name of Christ,
They killed, raped, pillaged,
Burned, resold in Europe.

Stealing without penance,
Murder without sin,
Where are those virtues now?

Buddha once said,
Life is suffering.

Railroads, the Yellow Peril,
Collapsing mines, Angel Island,
Promises of the Gold Mountain.
Quasi-slave labor in sweatshops,
Fallen braids beneath the knife.
Love it or Leave it,
Race riots, Chinese Exclusion Act,
Freedom of the Promised Land.

Racial profile: model minority, 
Alleged spies, missing pilots,
What of human rights now?

Name of artifact, circa year,
Religion, Relevance to history.

I wonder what they see
Beneath the tranquil face
Of the Buddha Head.

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