Evening Prayer

by Emily Brink
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, December 2008
Judged by Hélène Cardona and John FitzGerald

For years I’ve tackled your mountain
hoping to find some bristle of truth.
A crevice warm as a puppy’s slick tongue.
Your peak promises glory; delivers injury.
I’ve subsisted too long on your snowmelt
and yak butter diet. I have woven
a coat from the strands of your hatred
and the seams of your wit.
Down in the village they’ve declared
clocks useless and started evening prayer.
Tibetan flags flutter in the wind
like paper lamps in Santa Fe or quilts
hanging on lines in a Midwestern town:
it’s like being everywhere at once
until the prayers are done,
candles snuffed. I’m just a bird
changing direction, alone in mid-air.