“Morning Prayer” by Amy Lauren

two girls kneel gently in the unfurling
shadows, sky curling up pink lines
behind their shoulders. river croons
in soft cerulean lullabies, ushering
hickory and sunflower petals
to their sides. siltstone piles on
the riverbed and a deer skirts
between the evergreens as two

girls grab each other’s hands.

no other voices but the slight cicadas
and their own, float over here—
no eyes examining how their thighs touch
if they sit this close to one another—
just two girls with the deer and
butterflies somewhere nearby,
river susurrating dawn hymns,

and god, everywhere. god.

no difference between churches
and rivers at sunrise. both so alight
with praises to the sun
and that which shaped it,
mortal hands like holy relics
molding holy places of their own
and earthen altars out of clay.

this kind of everlasting love

like the swallowtails that live here
and will never quit fluttering
their wings over this safe spot
with its parsley and nectar.
the first girl asks, shall I lead
the morning prayer?
grinning,
the second rubs a thumb over
her lover’s knuckles:

god, yes.

——

Amy has received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations in 2017. Her writing has appeared in various publications including Believe Out Loud, Lavender Review, Werewithal Lit, Sinister Wisdowm, GERM Magazine, L’Ephemere Review, Transcendence Magazine, and Vagabond City. Her chapbooks include Prodigal (Bottlecap Press) and God With Us (Headmistress Press), the semi-finalist in the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest.

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