Prayer for a Victim Nobody Believes


               It will be comforting to make a list

of things that do believe: the heart monitor,

               the thin wand hanging from the blinds,


the dawn. You don’t need a body to appreciate

               anything not the body; forgoing sense


may also comfort. Ultimately, you will have

               to muster such fury at god your family

won’t be able to convince you otherwise.


               They will stand away and let it occur,

bringing you tan pitchers of water, ringing


               for a nurse to fluff the pillows.

And you will ask your bruises in what ratio

               they figure into a larger plan.


You are not weak. You are nothing crumpled

               on the side of any highway. And if


you need to pray to something else—sleep,

               a clock, your childhood—go ahead.

Come to realize, as quick as you can, what god


               deciphered long ago: whether or not

a heart seeks you matters little to your


               continuing on. The darkness collects

in icy puddles on the sidewalks. The lock waits

               to be seen like a father in the door.

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