Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Prayer

(What follows is a number of drafts for one single poem. The work in progress, "Prayer," takes shape and dilapidates in each version. Perhaps it will never be finished; perhaps it is finished in this format. Maybe the idea isn't supposed to come before the poem, or maybe vice versa, or maybe the idea isn't supposed to be about an apple tree growing inside my stomach. But one thing is certain.)

I.
God,
nothing inspires fear in me like swallowing an apple seed. What if there are worms in the fruit that rises up from my belly? Worms freak me out.

But you know I love trees, God. Your creation is really magnificent. I too often miss the sunset because I'm resting in my apartment with slanted ceilings.

There is a shadow of branches on my ceiling. They are pretty branches. Sometimes I wake up at night and look at them. Everyone contemplates infinity when they wake up at night. Everyone. But what am I telling you this for? You're God. You already know everything.

God, when I'm old, how long will my beard be?
Will I do important things? When will I die?
Will it hurt? Are you happy, God? Do gay
people make you sad?
What's your take on 9/11?
Have you ever heard of pluralism?
Why is Bertrand Russell not a Christian?

II.
O most Holy God,
nothing scares me like
swallowing an apple seed.
I fear that worms may
infest the fruit that rises from my belly.

III.
God, nothing scares me like
  an apple seed
    ingested; what
if worm infested fruit
  from my belly
    rises up?

Ick, worms.

God, sometimes at night I
  lie awake and
    think infinitely
About eternity. Everybody
  does this -- Lord
    as you know --

At night.

IV.
Dear God,
There's so much I want to know.
How do I pray? Can I say,

What's your take on 9/11,
Did my dog Thunder go to heaven?
Does the gay community make you sad,
Is the Iraq war good or bad?
Why was Russell not a Christian,
Could you fight that lion, Aslan?
God if you could redo one thing,
What would that thing that's redone bring?

God, how do I get to Endicott from here?

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