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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.

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