Reader Submission: Rosary

Image description: At the forefront of the image is two hands together to pray. The hands are multicolour and beautifully detailed. In the background, is a blue sky and a yellow sun.]

Reader submission by Anya Trofimova.

Sometimes words slip through
the space between
touching fingertips,
sometimes I wonder: will I always
carry you around

like scuffed elbows?
Sometimes, even I could mistake

the rosary beads biting into my skin
for blood clots.       
Know that the moment my hands meet
in prayer

I am holding
        two cracked fists.         
             A welder goes about
                              joining steel
  the way one collects
his ironies before prayer.
The din he makes becomes so

that it might as well be the sound of
metal shrieking
for mercy.

Say, pray for us.
The last time
               I wrote to the Lord, I was left
worshipping my own silence.
                           There’s a sin a knee
          could no longer carry.

I did not know
that one could melt

away, down to their
milk teeth.
Tell me that you did not know either.

                   I know my chances of forgiveness
will swell
like an earthy bough, perhaps
collapsing at the welcome of confession…
in the meantime, I hope my hands become as fire-glazed as yours one day.
How can one hold a prayer
          the way an empty hand can hold
     so much waiting?
     Perhaps at the far end of choice
       is the consequence of guilt.
there is no alternative ending, just us,
        raising an amen
                                              like a toast.