opening prayer

god’s throat, smite me. I 

left my son in the river. I 

came back and he 

is missing in the eddies.


I confess I 

regret: my brother’s teeth— I 

shouldn’t have pulled them 

ouy yankingly. my mother’s hair — when 

she said classic, I 

was thinking greek. my wife’s heart — we 

set it out in the sun to

dry. I 

let it crack.


o, gullet of god, I 

have seen you roll adam’s apples.


I was gesturing ordinances underwater. I 

swam sacred strokes . left . right . left

my son in the river . dive .resurface.left.right.stroke.shore.shake.


divine esophogus, you understand hallways, don’t

you. you understand the constrictions and suck of culverts. when

I picked up the bible, I read a verse that said,

verily, verily, thou shalt leave thy son upon the 

brow of an ox, upon the shelf of a river,

and he shall bow at the rising sun, crying abba,

abba, your hand is slipping from mine. 


god, when I 

swallow, my ears crack.