The Tall, Upheaving One

the cypress that I pray to:
it can fly. nothing is a single
species. we're made of bark, then
avalanche. Orpheus can make us anything,

can make us god's own door. cypress
or oak or black: to be accepted there,
across the boundary, as when I leave the house
this morning, walking--nothing painful
in my legs. I tell misunderstanding,
"this is our last year together," then,
I see, just up the street, that planets
are our bodies; their mouths slam through
my wrists. I was a child who practiced
jumping from the top of anything right
into the air. music was a swirl of vines
and leaves that left my throat.

I'm calling. and I'm waiting.
and I'm called to.

this black, the pure unknown which finds its way
exactly like the song you can't get rid of,
the one I start with now and won't give up.
the god, obsessed with worship that is memorized,
abiding, until the prayer itself moves inside
out, converts these worlds of sliding rock to fragrance.

I'm calling and I'm calling and I'm called.

Holly Prado
from Esperanza: Poems for Orpheus


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