prayer without crescent-shape
lord, now i am one to quarrel.
once pristine, a trope to keep
replaying, figment furrowed
in the curtain. how i was full
of quivering and you stunned
me stone. then i began to keep
away from surfaces. but now
if i hear dismal, doomed,
and leak my orchid, which
finesses me. if i relish in
that injury. then i am one
to watch the sky for voltage,
which was promised me.
or an answer like a surgery
removed from breath. i heard
withhold. i drew a charcoal
rim, another. clasped the eyelets
up my length. you want to give
and take away when i am
heavy with beckoning. taken
in a trance, having given up.
i wait for something stern
to medicate me. or a hell
set into motion, swallowing me.
it never comes. there are other
arrivals, dewy. you did insist.
when my love is not a subcontinent
often you inhabit only a small strip of land
upon which you pitch and decay
how, meandering further into the beyond,
a rattling ensues
you could say that what is primal in us
perpetually sheds itself, making room
or glows so sharply in the night
the whole island trembles
tell me about the need for nuisance,
and, when it comes, the stench
or tell me you have found a new surface
to stain with breathing
or tell me you have found yourself forlorn,
marooned at the thought
of exile, and press me open, a landing,
your sounds sharp with sand
Mackenzie Kozak is a poet living in Asheville, NC. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Journal, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, jubilat, Poetry Northwest, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. Mackenzie serves as an associate editor at Orison Books and Asheville Poetry Review. Her manuscript, in place of a mouth & far-flung, was a finalist of the National Poetry Series.