Prayers on My Lips


Grape flesh frosted with supplication,
a crushing of spirit between
a changing season’s displeasure of
fingers, autumn’s hardest harvest defies
thriving, its wheel grinding though
not halting, spinning wearisome sentiments
I grow tired of expressing,
wrenching reworking of words my
head no longer wants to
possess, an ill-wish relentless in
its whining into silence denying
them winter’s consolation of echoes,
the blush of tempest crisping
breath to these lungs’ uninterested
bedfellow, sheets of ice my
tongue rips, over compensating with
song someone else’s trouble my


heart’s muscle took on not
knowing it would wear it
down, I’m pressed to follow
my chest through its hollowing,
past its depression, toward a
taste of tomorrow, shallowing a
shell under which a sea
swells, frozen only on the
surface, swallowing this bitter syrup
whose sorrow isn’t my own
but borrowed, unimpressed at having
now to grow fond of
a form I’ve long since
outgrown, a going through of
inconsolable emotions, putting on shows
wearing shadows my dusk allows
now to be disavowed with


dawn, the stalk of vine
inside of me twined with
an ill-fitting web my ribs
have worn too well the
way a vineyard wrapped in
a torn sweater of mist
challenges, yet can’t contend with,
its need to turn distant
warmth into feared heat our
withered crop seeks to cut
us down when we can’t
weave but weep, swept under
its depth until the Leviathan
of this deep consecrates to
Ariadne’s breast threads of thought
no monster dared before now
to speak, boastful seeds of


lyrics following the beast the
way the ancients did their
heroes’ deeds until society relegated
to interminable sleep unheard these
songs my liar left me
with, as if, when he
left, what I inherited was
his myth, my own, and
my belief in my Self,
extinguished to ash, sacrificed to
fire above when my mouth
fell for a kiss, settling
for incredible sex with moans
instead of prayers on my
lips, dagger-thrusts of anguish syncopated
to dull performances of simulated
loneliness I’ve rehearsed too much.