Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Comfort Loop — Alan Jernigan

I want to make a prayer to pray to. “Dear Prayer,” I’ll start, as if the prayer itself were something to pray to. I’ll say “Dear Prayer, would you please . . .” and then make some sort of humble demand. It’s like writing a book that’s just the word “book” written over and over. I’ll say “Dear Prayer, please pray for me.” That’ll be good, won’t it? Then I’ll be praying to Prayer while Prayer prays for me, or maybe even to me. I’ll change my name to “Prayer,” so when Prayer prays to me, it’ll say “Dear Prayer, please pray to me,” and then that’ll be the same thing I say to Prayer in return. And I’ll also have a cat named “Prayer,” and I’ll say “Dear Prayer, please pray for Prayer,” no longer even sure who or what I’m talking about.

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