Prayer – a poem by Melaney Poli



What I mean is, the words I was just using—
very fine words, which meant everything—
not so many, potent—all are lying 
like dust about me.
Which one did I just say, the one that was perfect?
Every word is the same, is all wrong. 
I can’t tell one from another,
I’m saying nothing.
What I want to tell you is escapement, beanbag,
pulsar. Nothing can untie my tongue.
The something in me that wants to speak to you
reduces words to ash.
You will understand if I just sit here stupid and mute. 
You can commune with this vast incoherence. 
I won’t understand a thing, but
I’ll listen in.

Melaney Poli is an artist, writer, and Episcopalian nun. She is the author of the accidental book of poems You Teach Me Light: Slightly Dangerous Poems and an accidental novel, Playing a Part.

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