Oldie But Goodie

While cleaning out my desk, I found an index card on which I had written a bunch of random phrases, the origins of which I could not remember.  My favorite of the bunch was “I’ve said a hundred prayers to her knees.”  I knew it wasn’t Roethke, but it made me feel like Roethke, which was a good thing, so I went in search of it.  Google came up with nothing until I added in the quotation marks.  Apparently it’s from a poem by Major Jackson (good name, eh?) that was in issue ten of Memorius, a journal of fiction and poetry.  Enjoy!

“Even Strangers Are Not Strangers”

Winter’s early evening, and I pull two duvets like clouds

of moonlight above our shoulders. Our bodies fall into formation.

Even the lamps are spellbound. I’ve said a hundred prayers

to her knees, and now, I’m at work beating drums for our future,

making a ceremony of my dark, firm hands.

Outside, thick skeins of black branches sway woozily.

I’m thinking of the last orange red apple I bit into, thorn bushes,

and wooden scented vineyards in Sardinia, charms beneath

fingernails. What color is that cry trickling from her mouth?

In our sacred grove, we leave melodies singing on each other’s skin.

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