Vincent Cioffi Not Prayer

ISBN 13: 9781882983582

Not Prayer

9781882983582: Not Prayer
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That first day, after
you’ve been away
a long while and
you drive up a dirt road and
a house is still there
and children are still
in it and a woman is sitting by the window.

And why you’ve been away? Well
maybe you’ve been working or
drifting or deciding to live after all.
Maybe your father died and you
filled his grave, got in your car and
didn’t look back.    Maybe

you had a lover and
the way she looked sleeping
ruined you, knowing
she would pass.    And so you’ve

been alone a long while,
say in a room with blue walls
close to the sea where,
at night, you’d lie down to
the sound of the surf    believing

no one knew your name, believing
it was yours alone.

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About the Author:

Two Friends Watching Queens Burn

going home at the end of a day and telling your five year old,
today I was suspended on a ladder over the Queens waterfront
as it burned. And I was hot and I held in my hands
water with enough pressure behind it to
make a hole in the sky.

I was five, I
ran away with my
wooden toolbox.
Down the stairs, up the block, to the corner and I
couldn’t cross. I mean, who was gonna
cross me. I walked
to all four corners, same shit. Went home.

I’ll tell you what home is, home is
a woman who can dance.
I want to find one. I want to say
whose head do you want on what platter? I want to do something
evil for love.     Know what I mean?

I should go out for breakfast tomorrow, have some
Mexican eggs, couple of flour tortillas, tell ‘em
I want a lot of white on my plate. What do you think they’d think if I said,
give me two ineffable eggs and
the whitest tortillas you can find?

I’m going back to that bar where the bartender said,
how do you want it? And I said, in a glass and he said, come again? And
I said, open the bottle,     grab a glass,
pour, hand it to me.     Sometimes
it’s easier to be where
people hate you.

Well,   I say,   let Queens
burn without us and let God who,
since woven through the fabric of all things, is
inescapable,   let him
come looking for me.   I’ll be around.

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