Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them.

— Buddhist vow


When I drank, many people
tried to get me to quit.
When I drank, I drank the way
this cardinal is smashing into
our living-room window again
and again: full beak-and-body
slam against the glass.
Again and again he drops,
as if shot, onto the grass,
wobbles back to his branch,
flies straight at the window.
Again and again. My bird
book says that he’s
attacking his own reflection.
If I cannot distract him
with tinfoil or waves or shouts,
he might finally meet
the delusional goal he’s set:
kill someone, kill
the enemy — kill himself.