prayer notes in the wall


They clean the prayers out twice a year

and bury them in bags upon

the Mount of Olives, where the tombs

maintain their silent lexicon


and then in cracks and crevices

the living cram another batch

counting on God to have the time

their wishes with his will to match.


These deadpan stones are what remains

of the home-from-home once offered him

and maybe they’re still dawn-patrolled

by cherubim and seraphim


but for me, the message from the past

is however endlessly we yearn

doesn’t even mean our hearts are read

by here/now lovers – we soon learn


the wall between us is as stern.



First published in Snakeskin 253, August/September 2018