Prayer to Man
the dust groans like day-old snow packed by boots,
the same desert roads
each day, in the hour
between the evening
and the dusk. in every one of the sunsets:
it starts in my arms and my teeth.
I feel how I did during fevers as a boy,
when I could touch things that were not there
with my body,
as if all of it was me, being
played with by drastic hands.
the earth slips. skies change purple.
without a thought
my body grasps
the immensity of how small,
the smallest bone in it, is.
and on my shadow on every rock
in the fading light, I read
the ABCs of my insignificance.
what small frame and small head does this?
bending like a torn black ribbon of rubber
there over the fossilized ammonite shells.
I am not fighting fit at all,
for any fight but a fighting, fighting
for grace for death,
which is to suffer, to suffer
cosmically. dear man,
unless you be a god or better,
then be as the sun.
go down beyond me,
arms turning to sand,
gradually in the dark.
Cory Marshall Spangler is an American author and photographer. His work has been published in AGITATE: Film Photo Broadsheet. He publishes his own handmade periodicals of experimental documentary photography and narrative: Native Stranger Periodical. He and his wife live sheltered in place in the West Texas desert.
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