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Litany

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O you gods, you long-limbed animals, you
astride the sea and you unhammocked
in the cyprus grove and you with your hair
full of horses, please. My thoughts have turned
from the savor of plums to the merits
of pity—touch and interrupt me,
chasten me with waking, humble me
for wonder again. Seed god and husk god,
god of the open palm, you know me, you
know my mettle. See, my wrists are small.
O you, with glass-colored wind at your call
and you, whose voice is soft as a turned page,
whose voice unrolls paper, whose voice returns
air to its forms, send me a word for faith
that also means his thrum, his coax and surge
and her soft hollow, please—friend gods, lend me
a word that means what I would ask him for
so when he says: You give it all away,
I can say: I am not sorry. I sing.



Source: Poetry (November 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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Litany

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