daily prayer: for the dying

by A. R. Zarif


have you flown? am I fell, how does this feel,

now that I’ve touched you only twice

            before dirt and the roses come

                        to sleep whatever hasn’t strayed too far for sleep to save

                             you, in the middle of this, your prayer

we washed your body

your body was folded and small like a glass

of water overfilled

a body is a long way of saying something

how can you be so small?

how are you still

                        I carried you and touched you in all the ways a bottle can break

            knelt by your right hand and asked you to forgive my mother

who could not keep you, who is not here

I saw how small you were, the shape of you was

I’m sorry I saw

your eyes roll backward

back to where they started

you and not anywhere else