Anaphora – a poem by Luke Gilstrap

I do not pray for God to make me well. I pray for Him to make me good.
–St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Pray not for healing and feel no guilt
that you know who your mother and father is,
that you walk on the ground you were born to,
that the rain still comes.
Pray not for healing and do not imagine Paradise,
that it may surprise you when it arrives,
how close you would have been to getting it right
had you tried to describe it.
Pray not for healing unless of your relationships
then pray as fast as you can.
Remember the others and pray not for your healing,
but that you would meet them, in this air or the other’s,
your healing on the brink of their tongues,
your groaning tuned by their bruised or broken ribs.


Luke Gilstrap is a writer from Wichita, Kansas, where he lives with his wife, Megan, and his son, Oliver. He received his MFA from Seattle Pacific University and teaches writing at Friends University. A few poems have appeared in River City Poetry and are forthcoming in an anthology published by Darkly Bright Press

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