| Poetry, Print Issues

On Prayer

Joy David

God could kill you and blame it on a bear. Being taught as I was

about investing


exclusively in car stocks, I was never awake to the possibility

of heaven cleaning its teeth.


Faith has always looked a little bit like violence, or some familiar

scar on my thumb


from growing popsicle trees and raising species of jellyfish

to immortality.


O god of algebra and muscles and schizophrenia—joy is a door

I am kneeling before.


I have scraped my fingers raw against its bark while begging

to be let in.


If not this door, then some window. If not in this life, then

some other.


May the volta come when it is needed. Even the light waits

for its turn.

Joy David (they/them) was born in Ukraine and lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where they work as a geneticist researching diabetes and rare pediatric endocrine disorders. They are the author of the chapbook Hibernation Highway (Madhouse Press, 2020) and organize the Starlight Elsewhere Reading at the Rhizome House. Their work has been published in the Harvard Review, Colorado Review, 68to05, Salt Hill, Muzzle, Passages North, and elsewhere.

Artwork: “Strangers in the Museum (Dancing Cranes)” by Cheuk Yan Cherry Tung

Ink, watercolor, mineral pigments, and gouache on silk

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