We Find Our Prayers At Sunset
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Original poem by Stanley Anne Zane Latham

We Find Our Prayers at Sunset

You arrive
I arrive
We all arrive

Wet ready to swallow we identify
red and triangle we find something innately
strangely comforting in banging wood block
against wood block lying across cool moss
waking to the long distant sound
of lawnmowers

You go to school
I go to school
We all go to school

We come home
Our mothers are there
No one is there
Our mothers are there

We question
each other’s faces
We question
leg braces and orange hair
We question
where our fathers go algebra
in our future language.

Your little brother could only nap
inside the soft faded to apricot satin
of an old black suitcase someone
sailed from Belgium with before
a war one evening, while he slept
inside we pulled the old thing up the hill
behind the school then watched it sail
down the smooth brick-red clay
three times we questioned language
how to say you’re it
how to say I don’t know where my mother is
how to say i’ll never leave you

We turn out different but
we turn out the same

You move away.
I move away.
We all move away.

Days stay bright yellow because we have
the Facebook nights stay cool yellow
because we chat and chat
on the Facebook and you grow out
of your mother’s closet and her pills
and her love for a dozen rescue dogs and her
tragic appliquéd fingernails
and me.

You go to work.
I go to work.
We all go to work.

We come home
You type while I sit by windows your face
is blue my face
is blue blue i watch us
embrace at the back gate
under the crepe myrtles bark all creatures
could make love about, you type
I watch us kiss
until we stroll we stroll so far away
the moon unhooks herself to follow

We are on the beach then A steely bird
sporting a black mantle with sharp blue chevron
tap tap taps a shell until it splits
and love dark and green as a midnight rainforest
pours out glistens like abalone it leaps
leaving zephyr ripples across the sand
But steely bird’s wing strides are wider than love’s
new awkward lumbar and in her talons love
bleeds iridescent aqua into the confused tide.

You had dreams.
I had dreams.
We all had dreams.

The neighbor paints his front door battleship gray
and buys opposing lions, paws raised.
She paints her door red.

There is another door painted hilarious lime.
something innately strangely
comforting but disconcerting and we prod
tall thick hedges to discover what creature
this is we fall craning from high windows what
conventions what judgement
and someone has the audacity to report
her shabby roof just to get a glimpse
of that being

We all fear.

You go solar
I go camping
We all go to a spa We
pan for gold
everything I find is gold
everything you find is not.

You have children
I get a dog
We all get SUVs
We visit Mount Rushmore
We eat at Olive Garden
and TGI Fridays

We all take selfies.

We decide it’s time
something for ourselves now something
we’d always wanted to do or be
in a way we all take singing lessons.
We can’t hear ourselves.
We don’t like the sound.
We tune in American Idol we sit
in our own shadows
call it R&R in the shade
of our backyard

with appletinis.

You would not age.
I aged.
We all aged.

The SUV aged.
The dog too.
Even the parents.
the hardest thing yet.

You searched.
I searched.
We all searched.

High on a mountain we walked
through the mist
the striking flames of foreign indigo flowers
guiding the way the higher we climbed
the more of us fell clinging*
to the red red roots
of those emblazoned blooms
toes scraping and desperate
against the sides
of the cathedrals.

We climbed until the sound
of water stopped and you doubted
I turned my head
to see you sliding
down down down
into the mists. I turned
half a circle
to save you
instead of myself.

You died.
I was left here.
We were all left here.

It was still early
but so very late
the series had ended that night a stone
across the pitch screen
we sat in the car surrounded by snow
wet enough to drown in
Through the cracked windshield
your lips purple in the glow from the mall
made up stories about where
those characters would be
in twenty years How invested we became
in fictions in emailed urban legends
invented by PETA in soy and salmon in waiting
for the future
you never cashed in.

You arrive
I arrive
We all arrive

That place where we learned red
and triangle
where we scrubbed places now filled
with cobwebs the beautiful dark memories
where you long to hear your name
whispered sweetly like cool moss
resound like wood block against wood block
despite appliquéd nails
or missing language

That place where I cradled my mother
with my body in her bed listened to her breath
breathe like mine (like yours)
Felt the length of her spine bone and knuckle dig
into my chest and belly like mine entwined
my fingers in fingers like mine (like ours)
and though she was beyond speech
i knew her voice was mine

You come home in the violet
I come home in the violet
We all come home.

© sazl 2015

Licence : All Rights Reserved

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