An American Prayer 2019

1.
cursed be the past in repose upon its legacy whether true or false.
cursed be the imagined landscape of plenty and peace.

cursed be the flag of mistake and protection of the one at the expense of the Other.
cursed be the song performed upon occasions of contest and symbolic war.

cursed be the paint by number picture of normal and right and ordinary.
cursed be the faces made up to seem divine and honorable.

cursed be the banners of cowardice and treason made to seem virile.
cursed be the weapons borne openly into street and school and synagogue.

2.
holy the color of truth seen in spite of prism and lens and curtain.
holy the strength restrained by robbed wallets and pockets sewn shut.

holy the fullness of the body in defiance of the shame of expectation.
holy the strength of the body when taxed with reluctance and sorrow.

holy the ground full of origin bones waiting to be dug up and displayed.
holy the diggers of bones as they lie awake in the storm of disturbed ghosts.

holy the mascots and caricatures donning their own skin again at last.
holy the snake in the deep crust writhing and preparing to break through.

3.
we lay the prayer upon the day whenever and wherever we wake.
we lay the prayer down on the table before the selective feast.

we lay the curse before the blessing as it shall be swept before it.
we lay the curse out with eyes open and skin ablaze from centuries of flame.

we can only be quenched when the fullness of the fire is revealed.
we can only be healed when the darkness in the center of the wound is illuminated.

we claim the curse as our own to bind it to our work.
we claim the blessing as our own and free it to go where it must.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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