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  • A Prayer for Lethe
  • M. P. Jones IV (bio)

Comeinto these diminished forests calling:out of the midnight of your exiles,out of the private music at manic dawn,out of the bitter-grown logic of your talk.

The stars are shedding their old lighton the same questions we are asking,but we are asking them still from stoolsand in the bottoms of glasses, in the dark we are askingfrom the tops of buildings, and over coffee.

From this gray morning water, I am singingout of my eyes; out of the last heron's cold,blue reflection I see the words leavingour endless mouths, devoid of all reason,new as the garbling of babes, and we are sayinggood-morning in the rain; we are sobbingin the backs of cars and crying out in the hallways I loveyour shoes, and the wood-drake is joining

this final fugue: a parallax of rude-truthat the very end, and at this hour we can finally forgetthis language of our regrets, the shameof these violent centuries with the car hornsdisappearing in the rain. [End Page 5]

M. P. Jones

M. P. Jones IV, a fifth-generation Alabamian, is a graduate teaching assistant working toward a master's in Literature at Auburn University where he reads for Southern Humanities Review. His poetry was recently selected by Jennifer Elise Foerster for Auburn's Robert Hughes Mount Poetry Prize. He is also founder and editor-in-chief of Kudzu Review, a journal of Southern literature and environment. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Canary Magazine, Grey Sparrow Poetry Journal, Town Creek Poetry, Avocet Poetry Review, and Wilderness House Literary Review, among many others. He has written nonfiction for decomP magazinE, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, and others. His first collection of poetry, Live at Lethe, is forthcoming from Sweatshoppe Publications.