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Prayers

October 3, 2009

by David Need

From “St John’s Rose Slumber,” XVII

This porch among fallen winters
space of my hand
on your shoulder

****

a secret room behind the books
your daughter’s footsteps
on stairs to the basement

****

body becomes field
and so can answer sun, “asters”
and so wait

****

fire
no longer secret
is autumn
my father’s diagram

****

a priest lazy in a field
careless
mistakes ideas
for flowers

****

oh, rose
split
makes possible
the hidden skies

****

face, first of all, prow
filled with water
your cupped hands

****

what moves in them
but fallen winters
your shoulder ahead

****

a translation to kiss
as I am shadows
her daughter

****

and so founded

****

so you also
speak stones across the river
spark

****

a path back
inside myself
lifts dream

****

skirt lifted
her feet descend
a last ridge

****

ocean rose
blueblack in her hair
and iris

****

eyes shut lips shut
ears shut       the shuttered doors
of icons

****

a candle guttered
a city became shepherd
these for you

****

majesty

****

in star folds

****

in your pocket.

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David Need lives in Durham, North Carolina, and teaches Central and South Asian Religion and Poetry at Duke University. His poetry and essays have appeared or will appear in Talisman, Hambone, Golden Handcuffs Review, Fascicle, Minor American, Effing Journal, and on MiPoesias. He tries to maintain three loosely connected blogs: O Pure Contradiction, The Anderson Sisters, and No One’s Rose, and hosts the Arcade Taberna reading series.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:
  1. October 3, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    The line “a city became shepherd” reaches out to me.

  2. Alex Cigale
    October 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Wonderful, David! Alex

  3. October 7, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Haunting and allusive. Very powerful.

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