Poetry: “Prayer (II)” By Chris Watkins

In this poem, Chris Watkins utilizes religion, spirituality, and modernity to reclaim queerness with evocative language.

Note from the author: “This poem employs queerphobic language. I am a a genderqueer poet and feel comfortable using/reclaiming the language as it is used in the poem.”

Prayer (II)

++++after George Herbert

Prayer—even now, secular,
every poem you write, a knees-bent child
leaning on their mattress. The mouth molecular.
The porno of your guilt. A Girls Gone Wild
of the soul. The clear spring polluted
by farm chemicals. A two-way radio
in the internet age with the mic muted
and no one on the other end to know.
A hope, a slipper in a fairytale.
A time to yell at Gods we don’t believe.
Christ’s old phishing pole. The junkmail
in your head. The easiest way to grieve.
Something you know and never understood
like how faggot means you and love and burning wood.

Chris Watkins

Chris Watkins is a poet, environmental activist, and PhD candidate at Florida State University. Their recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harvard Review, Saw Palm, and Redivider among other journals.

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