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by Patrick Carrington

I worship my deities from the pew
of a scrambled alphabet. I type
my prayers to silent old women in black
squeezing cantaloupes in vegetable stands.

No grace speaks louder than the tongue
of a mute boy. Together, we work
in the fields in the sun, use the virtue
of our hands to quench thirst, twisting
fingers for the perfect iced tea.

There is not enough piety in metal idols
to know when fruit is ripe, the quantity
of sugar required. The bread is too thin
to sustain, wine dispersed in drops.

When I walk, I walk slowly to see gods.
When I pray, I pray softly. My ears
are close by. So are my fingertips.

(first appeared in Pedestal Magazine)

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