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.