Prayer

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By J. Neil Garcia

And so, at last, you have accomplished it:
suffered for the sake of done-with love.
We are comparable now, you and I,
and even in the form of our recourse–

downtrodden, our heads in our hands,
shafted inside the shadows of a temple
whose God is pinioned to the wood
of the cruelest rejection: the world’s.

I could have told you it does that, often,
and not because someone must deserve it.
Desire is how the world keeps us thirsting,
and desire is simply how we are drowned.

And yet, in this, I do not wish you ill at all,
for now, we drift earthward into sympathy:
hunched in the dark exactitudes of the body,
enfolded in the arms of nothing but the body,

we are what a poet once beheld love to be–
lonelinesses touching hands in the twilight,
gazing not upon the faces of each other
but right into the warmth of one withering sun.

The wakeful world transfigures at this hour.
As the edges of its shapes soften into sameness,
at last, we may grasp it for sheer vision that it is.
And here lies what I have wished to tell you:

it really is a matter of seeing–this life and its joy
are completely within your power to perceive.
Though you may crave the shadow for its true songs,
know, unlike me, you were never meant to stay there.

Let my love be enough death for the both of us.
From its bone-dry cave of loss, hear it sing, Live.

Montage Vol. 10 • December 2006