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Aug 2018
The moment my hands come
                                      to meet in prayer

     know that I am holding
        two broken fists             held together 

                    by lola's rosary beads            
       so tight against my skin        
                                             
you will mistake them
                          for blood clots.

                                 It is difficult to pray
  inside an unfinished church:

       A welder goes about
                              joining iron

                                 the way one gathers
his ironies before prayer.

  The sound he makes becomes too
           shredded it could be the sound of

metal screaming for mercy. At the back
             a woman stretches her hand

like a five o' clock shadow. Something
           holy stands frozen in time. Say pray

for us. She lights a candle.
                      When the fire went out, she is

pressed back into the dark. The last time
                         I was asked to write

            something for the Lord, I ended up
worshipping my own silence.

                           There is a sin a knee
          could no longer carry. I am sorry.

     Forgiveness is a room
                         with a door left ajar.

                                                    You are
         inside that room.

                   I know my chances will expand
          like an earthy bough, I know

one of them will break
                at the welcome of confession.

           You are...     

Perhaps **** is for those
               who used the wrong adjectives.

                A churchman opens a window,
   pours out a summer's worth of light—

    see it fall between the pews like sand
                 between one's fingers. Here

            where there is no light, anything
that shines will feel like a judgement.

Tell me how can one hold a prayer
          the way an empty hand can hold

     so much waiting. Tell me how can one
not weep in the shadow of a gospel

and see the light where it is aimed at.
              Somewhere down here

                    there is a worn down piano
            that never doubts

         the hand that plays it.
                                  It could be me.

     Perhaps at the worst end
                            of having a choice

          is the consequence of guilt. Perhaps
this is how things should have ended: us

        raising an amen
                                      
                     ­                         to our lips.
Paul Marfil
Written by
Paul Marfil
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   MicMag
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