by Doug Ramspeck
When the last fires rise and make
their way across an ochre expanse
of field, the stains of birds will offer
their final bodies to a venous sky.
This must be what it means
to summon prayers. Yet for now
the prayers exist in the living body
of a horse on a black night, a horse
you cannot see, or in what crawls into
the discarded skin of a hognose snake.
I think some prayers have the patience
of mountains or stone—so that even after
the flames transform our everything
to ash, they will persist—feral and lonely.