- Prayer on Bus
While the city slips by us cloaked in exhaust, nauseatingly calm, lovely with summer and dust.
Everything slipping by us—waterlike, mindlike. Not like fixation. Not like the handcuffs in the dresser drawer. Not like the wife who drove her car once into her husband, and then backed up.
Life, today, is happening to us the way the plant in the window simply flattens its leaves toward the sun. Respiration, digestion, reproduction, dreams—to us, and because of us, and as if we did not exist. It is as if—
As if this old woman whispering a prayer on the bus is a girl singing a song on the deck of a ship wrecked a century ago. Singing at the bottom of the sea. The marriage of fragile hope and suffocating depth.
While, in the earth, our curious, disintegrating jewelry and utensils go to sleep.
hile, in the sky, a plane full of useless information flies over us, too high to see.
Laura Kasischke has published six collections of poetry (most recently Gardening in the Dark, Ausable Press, 2004) and four novels (most recently Be Mine, Harcourt, 2007). Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Ploughshares, the Iowa Review and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Michigan and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.