The Supplicant

prays for birds
before an ancient icon—
a stray cat.
The inbred need
to pray
is what makes God
necessary,
and not, she says,
the other way
around;
beyond that
it’s all mystery,
so don’t question
why Man creates gods
that demand
sacrifice,
condemning mortals
to spend their lives
trying to praise
godhead into mercy.
Better instead
to ask the frog
to bless the fly,
and, once the cheese
is in the trap,
to beg forgiveness
from the rat.

More Poems by Stuart Dybek