How to Pray

by Matthew Fee

Do not try to comfort.
Forget the poor, the meek,
the starving, the blind.
Bless those that see, that they may see
further. Change the dying child
to a stray cat or greedy banker,
and swap the angel for a fish.
Replace the lonely heart
with a pair of warm lungs.
So, you’ve just woken up
on another miserable morning,
and it’s freezing, too cold to kneel.
A car passes outside your window.
Downstairs or upstairs, someone
is humping someone.
It will be important now
not to mention Jesus or Ahmadinejad,
though you might start out
with a Psalm. And while you can ignore
green pastures and deathly shadows,
a few rocks could be nice.
This is a good time to open your mouth,
to wonder what you could possibly say.
Praise the weeds. Rejoice in God
for every elbow. When your cherub
finally arrives, sleepy and covered
in stardust, wash her hands and
ask her, politely, to leave.

Matt Fee’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Fresh Water, likewise folio, Spittoon and elsewhere.