I Never Reached Enlightenment – by Elizabeth Bullmer

I read several books on the subject.

I built a separate bedroom for my ego;
every night I sang her lullabies, locked her in.

I wore only white cotton, ate only fresh fruit,
sat on hard floors with thin cushions, in lotus pose.

I was always on a juice cleanse.
I was always on retreat.
Always quieting my mind; made my thoughts fuzz
like continuous rainfall, without thunder.

Platform sandals feel like levitation;
I balanced on one foot and then the other
until my tarsals collapsed.

Chaga tea smells like presence.
Moringa powder tastes like meditation.
I fasted until I hollowed,
counted chia seeds to center myself.

I shut my mouth to practice Silence.
Closed my eyes and called it detachment.
I walked barefoot over burning coals,
smoked skin provoking tears,
repeated it like a mantra—
I told everyone, I didn’t feel a thing.


Elizabeth Bullmer has been writing poetry since the age of seven. For several years, she competed nationally as a performance poet, placing ninth at the 2004 individual World Poetry Slam. Her most recent chapbook, Skipping Stones on the River Styx, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. E is a licensed massage and sound therapist, as well as mother of two phenomenal humans, living with four fantastic felines in Kalamazoo, MI.