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Poetry #19
(published Late in the Year, 2000)
Unholy Sonnet #9
by Mark Jarman

Someone is always praying as the plane
Breaks up, and smoke and cold and darkness blow
Into the cabin. Praying as it happens,
Praying before it happens that it won't.
Someone was praying that it never happen
Before the first window on Kristallnacht
Broke like a wine glass wrapped in bridal linen.
Before it was imagined, someone was praying
That it be unimaginable. And then,
The bolts blew off and people fell like bombs
Out of their names, out of the living sky.
Surely, someone was praying. And the prayer
Stuck the blank face of the earth, the ocean's face,
The rockhard, rippled face of facelessness.

Originally published in the collection Unholy Sonnets by Mark Jarman, Story Line Press, 2000. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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