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POEM

A PRAYER

A Poem by Melissa Studdard


Someday I’ll meet you again,
and we’ll sleep like the eyes of hurricanes,
lidless in our trek to taste each other’s tongues
as they throw dirt over my face, into the quivers
of my throat. I’ve been meaning to say a little
something each night, to light a candle
in the doorframe, set fire
to the empty church: For you, I’d drive
the people back into each other’s arms,
where they could see, finally, your
softness again. I meant to say I knew you
were unhoused, the original nomad. There were
none living there among the pews. What was left
was pressed among the pages of psalmody.
And this is no new thing.
Another costume off: My golden hair.
My blue-green eyes.
Shed beneath the dirt.
I meant to say, how are you? And, also,
this is not about me. Because there are tigers
scratching at the swirling wind, and there are monsters
banging on the shutter doors. Because I’ve had no time
to think or eat properly or rest.
It was all just a blind sneeze in the wind.
Let me know everything about you, please.
I’ll go back. Do it right this time.
I’ll be a dragonfly, a pebble, an earthworm, a flea.

*From I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast



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