Prayers are the Antigone of the spirit world.
Think about it. You search
for someone’s mother to destroy. You constantly need
to replace her. Prayers are the sister living and the brother dead.
Prayers are the search and the replacement. The father stands still. Prayers come back to him.
Prayers are the bird of return.
Prayers are sent to the war and return from the war and the survivors shoot themselves.
Prayers as an acre of conflagration. A centerpiece memorial: Prayers.
Made to flame, like war, wings the Prayers.
The Prayers fall in ash and with our hands we make their monument.
A lake reflective Prayer.
Swans drawn over Prayers’ twin bodies,
one fixed to the inside,
one fixed to the outside,
like stars, will chart themselves unto the mirror of earth.
Prayers are the sound of the world in which you live.
Breathing in a constellation where bright lips all over the body break into whispers
you think might be out there.
Each Prayer breaks the night sky with a white ox
battering the ram. Loud star razing Prayer.
Prayers are the violent activity of happiness.
To pray is so startling it leaves little shakes for everything else.
Is everything else an echo of a Prayer or is a Prayer insanely shaking.
If your child is laughing uncontrollably, your child might be praying.
The Prayers lie in a collection of bones cleaned by hungry people who will die soon and become a trophy of possible joy.
Prayers carry around bones in your purse. You sit down to eat and
Prayers encrypt the food into delicious sand.
Why don’t we all think of pavement and its pottery in Prayers?
Prayers crumble into Prayers moving dishes in the night from one cupboard to the other.
They wait to feed you.
Used and wait to be broken.
My Prayers lie in a field. A vector sees my Prayers. Then I lie in a field and look up at the sky. I see my Prayers passing hawk. They are visible for miles around.
Everyone can see my Prayers.
I don’t know if my Prayers are Stalker or Stalked.
Prayers extend a courtesy to the Prayerless.
Prayers are both crowds and crowd control. They are both you and the FBI.
Fond of the covert, the Prayers both you and the FBI want
are hidden. Scattered underground, as such quantities must obey in order to survive.
A different kind of burial.
Prayers are under the bed wishing for life.
Prayers keep their children in a Greek house.
Prayers are secret bipeds, nutrition, honey, milk.
Prayers understand excluded species, having slept a little too much.
Prayers underhand solid wetlands or, by Neanderthals, convert the hillside.
Now they’re highways. Prayers are disguised as time pushing you out of your car.
Prayers wake up out of doors. They know just where they are.
Prayers field their expertise. The experts wander in fields, looking all their lives.
Clever Prayers bray toward theologians and theologians pray toward mules.
Prayers crush most animals and out of them make bright invention.
Prayers make diamond shapes shape unexpected and glorious.
I thank most submissive acts for Prayers. They speak halo and something other.
Every time I kneel a Prayer pushes me down further.
Every time I’m down, I tend to kiss you. Every time I kiss you, a Prayer pushes me up.
And this is what’s called spending time together.
You are a beloved person who may break me and a Prayer brings me closer to that death, and then takes it away.
Yes. Prayers might have hands that project a fantasy:
Shadow play, player piano, praying pattern of cross-checked tex-mex, hybrid love scene, conjoined hillside, holy mountain of unseen desire,
two hands coming together, your dream crocodile child’s play prays for your pedo-self and philos-hands overlapping.
Prayers are a Holy Motor and other kinds of movies.
I watch movies in Prayer. I confuse movies with Prayers.
Prayers image the scene, do they not?
Prayers novice my rolling f-stop.
Prayers crop my frame in the other. I think I am the movie, or I am the Prayer, or Prayers fade into other Prayers who are moving photographs into narration
which is what is happening to me, almost always.
Some of us pay 12 dollars for Prayers. We live in a fantasy world of Prayers. We go broke.
Instead of asking Prayers to tell us stories, we tell stories to Prayers.
But Prayers do what they want.
Prayers think about loud sex and then subvert it until I’m quiet and
Prayers are covered in glitter instead of stripped, like Shauna or Rosie
who are my friends covered in glitter and stripped.
If you are now thinking about Shauna and Rosie and then you start thinking about strippers, you are thinking a false duality.
Shauna and Rosie prayed for salvation. Shauna and Rosie are no longer covered in glitter or stripped. This is the kind of logical cave Prayer that will leave you alone outside the gates without your sister after she is dead. Prayers are the sack of glitter you wish would explode.
The cave walls take the Prayer unto them.
The Prayers took the glitter all on themselves. A provocateur, proving something.
Prayer is the inclination between two sight-lines to the naked woman.
Shauna and Rosie tell stories that will not make you sparkle.
But Prayers will.
Prayers know what lies in the unsaid.
Do not cheat the Prayers.
The Prayers ante Shauna and Rosie and the Prayers raise them questions.
Prayers never say the word “stripper”.
I find Prayers swinging from back fences instead of poles.
Sometimes strippers are antibodies and I think Prayers put them inside me.
Prayers giveth my friend Aaron leprosy and Prayers taketh it away.
There is something about Prayers that makes him crazy.
Prayers are the human brain, on fire, but what causes the burning is a digital Prayer under my hand when my hand falls off.
To understand that is crazy.
I believe my friend has leprosy because Prayers tell him to believe a parallax exists and I believe the parallax of insanity. It lives close by, under my hand.
He prays for a cliff to stumble over. We all fall off the cliff, hearing that
a true duality exists.
Maybe you hate Prayers because they exhaust the limits of the possible. Aaron hates life for the same reason. Hate is a strong word, but may be the Prayer’s other in the parallax of life.
Sometimes we think we are falling down, but feel some body going up.
Prayers fill the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. Just ask the Greeks.
They travel in a vacuum called light and gravity.
Sometimes you travel there, too, with me, and Aaron, and we are all brains, on fire.
Coaxed in and out of existence.
Prayers are impossible. Just ask the scientists.
Some scientists make drugs that are modeled after Prayers.
Some of us who take those drugs get high in a spirit world and some of us get high in the street.
Within this ecstasy the Prayers are slowly taking apart our hands and laying them on. They are laying them on the other dimension. It is a brief tapestry for some.
The Prayers are taking apart your heart, now.
They are filling you with a Persian rug.
You are a vessel of marvel, don’t you feel it? A vessel of marvel at the end of a long alley unfolds itself and says: _________________________________________.
Prayers swallow a candle. You feel warm.
You took a drug and planned a heavy grace. Everything else was a row of sinking pines. Prayers, to have the normal arrogant world disposed of into red birds:
Prayers, to corrugate the ether with their wings.
Do you want that Prayer, or don’t you?
Prayers’ pill brings rhythm and confusion together.
Neither a forewarned bullet into the earth.
Crimes treat Prayers with respect. Prayers die the crimes on their knees, yes? Sprout conversion.
Prayers tell me I hit [my head on] the ground yesterday.
Final Prayers waxeth hotter and hotter.
Final Prayers waxeth hotter and hotter. Prayers hit my head on warp speed. Decorative Prayers. Dye block my Prayers. Diazapene flares the rocket two hands up and kissing: Shakespearean Prayers. Brightest heaven of invention: Prayers. Prayers’ intention to mother the father: Greek Prayers. Factor the Prayers into the wild: Anti-smother Prayers. Gone far are the growth hormone trees between me: Cavity of Prayers; Manna of Prayers. Cave of collegiates bear to make Shakespearean hands: Hybrid Prayers. Fans of Prayers softly blowing geisha descending a stair-case. And other Possible Prayers.
Prayers possible in the other aka anything. Prayers tame evolution and then set it on fire. Prayers’ fire forms my highest mastery: Undeniable Protest of Longing. Expectant compassion breeds the gathering Prayers. Prayers nice the table, ice the drink, give suck the miracle mono. A multitude of Prayers.
A sensible Prayer.
Your favorite Prayers might always be a wet Paris. Spring on the back of Troy.
Everything comes after a favorite Prayer. Paris prays for Helen.
We all want to be as beautiful as a Prayer, or as not.
Beauty is the undeniable protest of longing, say Prayers.
Prayers try forever and ever to deny you. You think eternity is both heaven and hell. You might want both things: the actual and the denial.
That’s okay. But Prayers will not help you decide.
Prayers will decide for you.
Prayers make the forever and ever Amen.
Jamalieh Haley lives in Portland, Oregon where she co-curates If Not For Kidnap and teaches writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Interrupture, Sink Review, Everyday Genius, Sixth Finch, and other lovely places. You can find her chapbook Strange Tarot here at Poor Claudia.