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Prayer

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You'll find me in a suitcase, you'll find me in a   car.
Lord, unbend my legs. Lord, lift me so I see.
The red moon in winter is the memory of   candles,
the sky like church windows the sun nods   through.
Lord, you'll find me in a dead car, I'll be in the   trunk,
birds around my head and a mouthful of glass.
Birds that spin the head, Lord, and blood on   my chin.
Am I ugly like this, hands roped at the back?   My eyes
closed tight? Touch my face with your palm,
with your rough old hands that work too hard -
A car in the field where the weeds grow high,
the trunk closed tight so no air gets in. Unknot   me,
lift me to a glassy sky. Your mallet arms -
I can't describe the arms that you must have.

 

-- Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer's recent books are Fallen From a Chariot (Carnegie Mellon, 2005) and The Finger Bone (Carnegie Mellon, 2002). His new book, National Anthem, in which this poem appears, is forthcoming from Four Way Books, in 2008. He edits Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing. He was recently a guest poet in Pittsburgh's Gist Street Reading Series. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on independent radio, WYEP 91.3 FM.

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