Scoundrel Time


There ought to be a prayer
for the little exhaustion of light
where bullets worm clear through
the apples clinging to limbs.
There ought to be a prayer
for the flesh they pass through,
the space left, bits blown into grass,
that they resemble teeth,
and the grass taking teeth.
Look how the sky eats report,
how the skin of trees drink sound.
A prayer for that, for the samplings
we lined in rows, winters
we wrapped young trunks in burlap
and fed shovels of shit and ash.
The prayer ought to feel like
standing hours in cold rain
with the assassin of our orchard,
whose eyes are cold rain,
whose heart is cistern,
who has no use for prayer.
We know him because we made him.
Because we made him, he is alive.
Who could blame us for wanting
gauzy words to pack the holes,
a god to backfill with breath?
Now let us sit at a table
in the mutilated orchard
and bow our heads over cider.
The prayer should be brief,
the way brief blows itself out.
The prayer will fail, always
between what language says
and does. Where prayer fails,
now mouths full of autumn,
now the leaf fury reddens.
Yes, we are scared. Yes, we tire
being afraid, pleading now
in that light, that goddamn light.





Image By: