PRAYER AND MEDITATION FOR PEACE (Critique Welcome)
PRAYER AND MEDITATION FOR PEACE
Lord, can we re-finance this loan
On this self that you lord over?
If the body is my temple,
The outside ain’t half bad—-
But even fiberboard can take the weather
For a while. And I know
The insides are beyond repair.
And to those close friends of mine,
And family, to whom I insist
That startling will be my end,
I understand that old habits die
The slow death of the cliché—-
But Lord am I jumpy.
I knew something was wrong
When I thought of Mike
Sitting in jail,
And I was jealous of his isolation.
Sometimes I need nothing
More than mere pure solitude.
I don’t mind warm bodies
Rambling around me,
Even if they ramble at me,
Because I can ignore them.
But a question that grows from the background,
Shoving a wedge between me
And my own mind,
Repeated louder with each asking—
If I’m sitting there,
And your question grows louder
With every other voiced exhalation
Or so, until you’re exhausted—-
Then I’ve just told you,
In the language of silence,
To get off my last nerve.
Nothing sparks my will to flaming
Like someone playing with my simple peace.
If you must, carve me a small space
Out of a rotten spot,
Somewhere on this blue, volatile boulder—-
Or draw me a circle
No wider than my shadow at its longest,
If I were standing in the center,
And let me pace its insignificant perimeter