Then I Reconsidered Prayer
By Maria Taylor
It was unlike me. It was light years
since my Kyrie Eleison or the cross
performed with three digits
over skull, stomach and shoulders.
In summer I went back to the chapel
in my father’s austere village,
thinking it was ironic that St. Menas
resembled Frank O’Hara so perfectly.
I lit Frank a candle and prayed
at an altar of two-headed golden eagles
to our lady of infinite hangovers,
to the patron saint of Citalopram,
and the holy trinity of vodka, aging
and insomnia. When the young priest
entered he was so kind that
I almost thought it was ok to be me;
if I kept quiet I could be part
of the stone. Once someone drunk
in a dingy Soho pub mistook
the moon I keep on a silver chain
around my neck for St. Christopher.
I told god about it. I lit another flame
for those who journey alone,
for the penitent and for the lost.
I brought a dead body back to life
with a cup of something like love.