Prayer at Noonday by Sara Parrell

Next door he’s found his sax, Lord.
Do you hear him play into sunlight
as if it is night? I lie down to listen
& no breath of cool air desires me.
All those mouths & lies, jasmine
fallen from the trellis, trailing mud,
scent buried, how can you sit by?

I am fox fodder, flesh longing for thee
in a dry and thirsty land. Maybe it’s you
playing the blues in my tangle. Maybe you
brought sweet tea. Maybe you are
this wet press against my skin. Maybe
it’s you who told me someday
the woods will fill in, as if virgin.
Sara Parrell won first prize in the 2008 Poetry Center of Chicago’s Juried Reading for her manuscript Psalms of New Orleans. Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, qarrtsiluni, and the 2013 Cowfeather Press anthology, Echolocations. Sara is faculty at the UW-Madison School of Nursing, and a member of the Madison public schools’ mental health consultation team.