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Poem-A-Week

prayer (xiv)
by Jonathan Chan

‘That space within you is the reign of God.’

    C. S. Song

 

afflicted by an everlasting

kindness, capacious, inner space

circling outward, you recall the

 

fantasy of being

 

            you, very young in

 

New York, prayer scattering

over chapped lips, over

corner pharmacies and rattling

cars, the rumble of pipes and

 

            clattering of

            heat.

 

prayer like jangling keys before

the solemnity of faceless

brownstone. there is a

 

           lightness

 

to this air. it dries out

skin, wind-whipping the

cheeks and ears, soles skidding

over frosted roads, and each

point of light

           

                    darting

 

through rooftops. this city

is a wilderness, winter air still

around an interceding body,

through present trussed to future

triangle, asking for

 

fire that causes the water to boil,

fire that kindles brushwood,

 

          fire that laps the worry of

          formless grey days.

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Jonathan Chan is a writer, editor, and graduate student at Yale University. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore and educated in Cambridge, England. He is interested in questions of faith, identity, and creative expression. He has recently been moved by the writing of Yeow Kai Chai, John Green, and Roger Robinson. More of his writing can be found at jonbcy.wordpress.com