DAMBULLA

I

 

in the deepest cave the ancient

carved stone reclines

soles of the feet

marked with winding circles

hands set in enlightened repose

 

each cave contains a statue

evolved over time

the last a gift

gaudily decorated as authentic

as a retail mannequin

 

we emerge into the light

from the depths of the cave

blinded by what we now know

 

II

 

at the entrance to the cave complex

shoes and thongs in random array

like the aftermath of some market bombing

a reminder of Sri Lanka’s recent past

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