I watched the steady stream of incense smoke billow upward,
twisting and stretching, its spirals not content with perfection,
rising innocently into and through the shade of the lamp above,
unaware that the light, shade and smoke created a spectacle
most unexpected.

Amid the sense of wonder and beauty one might expect,
I found myself willing that the smoke not deviate from this track,
that it continue to file carefully into the conspicuous lamp shade,
maintaining the spectacle to which I had borne witness
most accidentally.

In my concentration, I gazed intently upon the stream below,
like a football devotee, taking possession of gains and setbacks,
as if one outcome were unquestionably better than another,
completely ignoring the spectacle that had originally drawn me in
most gratuitously.

Photo by Steven Duong