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a silent prayer for californian winters

if april is the cruelest month,

then december must be the harshest.

the dead have since risen from

lemongrass blades in my front yard

the flower bed sings under fingernails

its painted eulogy trampled at dusk

the crabapple has cracked a thistle-bone

lodged itself through my seventh vertebra.

the wind eats away all fruits of piety

hallow-seeds its way to my core.

i am no coward.

with conscience on my shoulder

i traverse


two pleas from stained forgiveness

one confession from red redemption.


madonna cries in merlot glory,

stares at the heavens near her feet.

her youth is but a mirrored brume,

glaucous as the sea stains in

grey-shingled santa monica.


she weeps because

today i have learned how to sin

how to kiss my father goodbye

how to pluck bud from sepal

how to plant face into mud

to grovel at my feet

to be human.


my lips find no form, but

my eyes seek a prayer.

Father

i wish to forget

the white-bodied winter that has birthed me,

forsaken auriferous sun, the frozen earth has

since unearthed me.

tonight i seek to glimpse babylon

rise with the dead at maker’s dawn.

tonight i leave eden once again

unlearn how Mouth shapes Word

Amen.


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