Prayer for Burning
Save me from the father’s palm,
his ruthless blessings.
Keep me from going under.
Teach me hymns
that won’t go to mist on my tongue,
Let me take—
bottle’s swill, salt seas of skin.
Show me what the blue jay learns in the molasses trough:
a stillness to calm all this thrashing,
what sweet darkness I could sink into.
I want to pray—my God, I want to pray.
I want what burns,
what turns us into the ash the earth reclaims.
Whatever fires might rage,
I want a kinder hell.
from the water that washes us in grace.