Ways to Pray

Voice recording of the author reciting the poem.

I.

Side-step the dirt pile you’ve made

on the sidewalk and fill yourself with grass.

Dance in front of the full moon and let your fingers

touch every cold surface in Marietta.

II.

Place all knickknacks on the floor and set fire to the tree–

sprinkle the ashes on the porch and wait.

III.

The room is covered in dust. Shaking out the rug

in the living room won’t stop the storm.

So, you vacuum.

Turn on all the lights and hope

the cats don’t wake up.

IV.

Blankets hold you into bed

As you press head to frame,

The word grows around you.

You turn to blow hot breath

on the blankets and they float.

V.

Children are laughing. There are six

coats stacked on top of the chair.

It’s so cold.

VI.

Trains run every six hours—counter clock

dancing. I place acorns on the tracks.

Every year, more people park on my sidewalk:

shrinking an already winding street.