Stray Dog Prayers

by Ryan Smith


I run to my duskhouse,

a stained dream of glass,
mouths opening
and closing. . .

it smells of a city built in the rain,
of candle light in a goldenrod coffin.

It is the silence in the back of an angel’s attic.

We weathered the sidereal,
the tidal collapse of a thousand black-chrome
haunts, insects moving

in the shade, the lingering echo,
one exorcised saint, diminishing.

The duskhouse, the evaporation, another dead ocean.

(A car sidesteps past,
the color of glistening
frostbite)

Sepia-tone graffiti, hooks and chains
waving from the back of a butcher’s truck,
waitresses in fluorescent stanzas with voices
like a lost year’s death throe rattling out—

our lord, whose art is instant,

allow one more night.


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