Mackenzie Kozak

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.