The Violent Light of Prayer Lit from the Inside


She said she could not would not name her child

             Violet because it sounded too much

like destruction like distraction like the paws on her back

             in the middle of the woods she didn’t know

how to stop a dream or make it seem like this was

             her anxiety about her daughter’s death talking

about her past suppertime. She sets the table. She counts

             the chairs and there are only two. The daughter

has been gone, the one I knew, the one I hid notes

             with and watched horror films with and danced with

together in the woods. The mother of the girl who was

             taken even though the mother was the one

that knew her through a body that was once

             her own. I can’t lash out anymore. I hold my tears

inside my jaw and take it as my own daughter hits me in the arm

             because her tongue can’t form the words yet

and what is love but abandoned when you’re just trying

             to feed a body. This is about the bear in the dream

I knew was carried in my womb and that I lost another child

             like that and no one said that’s what it is like. We do this

with grief, not knowing how to name the ephemeral, fairy

             it out in a woods in a mind in a place we will eventually

reside in, as we fade out of a world, hold on to what.

Copyright © 1999 – 2020 Juked