Prayer

Prayer

Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important/
calls for my attention — the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage/

I need to buy for the trip./
Even now I can hardly sit here/

among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside/
already screeching and banging./

The mystics say you are as close as my own breath./
Why do I flee from you?/

My days and nights pour through me like complaints/
and become a story I forgot to tell./

Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning/
to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence./

Marie Howe, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, W.W. Norton & Co.

Detail from The Elation of Understanding, 2007

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