“[Take a skull]” by Bhartrihari, translated by Andrew Schelling


Take a skull
from a village or holy grove,
fit its inner rim with white cloth.
On the outskirts of town
head toward the black thick smoke where old-time
brahmins perform the sacrifice.
Each door you pass ask for handouts
for your empty belly.
It’s a proud man’s life.
Better than going every day
to whine
to your relatives.