I really didn’t want to die then.
I’d only just learnt to fold
my hands in prayer as though
I held something in them, only just
learnt to negotiate.
With charm. Even standing waist deep
in a sea of flames. I learnt to negotiate
everything, describing it with adjectives
which sound good translated into English.
I folded my hands in prayer
as though I was hiding something more than stone
and I liked this trick.
This image looked like a triptich
but it wouldn’t close.
I thought it was a bunch of chrysanthemums
but it was a child’s head.
I thought it was a garden parasol
but it was the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.
If I’d prayed the way you’re supposed to,
with my hands in the air, I’d still be alive.