Revised Common Liturgy

Photo: © Olga Breydo. All Rights Reserved.

For the National Day of Prayer, May 3, 2018

Can anger be a prayer?
Can bile be? Or blisters?

What is the invocation of the immigration lawyer,
asleep on the airport floor? The collect
of the pedestrian-clogged capital, the rite
of the nationwide boycott, the litany for pussy

hats, safety pins, sign-up sheets? What’s the intercession
against pornstar payoffs and pepper spray? Are protests
thumbed on touchscreens antiphons?

And also with you.

What is the prayer made by the door you didn’t slam
at your parent’s house on Christmas day? The throat-lump
you swallowed down with pie. The tongue bitten
was a prayer. The tongue held.

We are learning to make the sign
of crossing the diner to muzzle the rifle
that burns our dark hands.

We are learning to make the signs
out of poster board.

we have not loved our neighbors
as ourselves. We have not loved.
We have not.

The thorns on the roses in the Garden, too, are prayers.

Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her poems have recently appeared in The Christian Century, Mom Egg Review, and Harpur Palate. Her first chapbook, Visitations, was published in 2015, and her second chapbook Latch was just released by River Glass Books. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania.

Appears In

Issue 8

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