Half asleep in prayer I said the right thing
And felt a sudden pleasure come into
The room or my own body. In the dark,
Charged with a change of atmosphere, at first
I couldn’t tell my body from the room.
And I was wide awake, full of this feeling,
Alert as though I’d heard a doorknob twist,
A drawer pulled, and instead of terror knew
The intrusion of an overwhelming joy.
I had said thanks and this was the response.
But how I said it or what I said it for
I still cannot recall and I have tried
All sorts of ways all hours of the night.
Once was enough to be dissatisfied.
Mark Jarman, “Unholy Sonnet 11” from Questions for Ecclesiastes. Copyright © 1997 by Mark Jarman. Reprinted with the permission of the author and Story Line Press, www.storylinepress.com.
Source: Questions for Ecclesiastes
(Story Line Press, 1997)
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