O Listener, You know how pleased
I can be with the sounds of my own words.
But sometimes a prayer comes out
half chewed, like a tough crust
that sticks in the teeth. Or spat out,
the stone from a sour plum.
What if my prayer is thin,
rote, barren of belief? If so,
remind me to swallow it and wait
for my gut to voice itself from
somewhere deeper, rasped out,
incoherent but heartfelt,
no holds barred.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.