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401st Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Pray for me

by Mohamed Sarfan

Mama kneels in her shawl and prays for my salvation
Mary looks down and smiles at her prayers
But, mama doesn’t see her sin she doesn’t know where i am
The cold wind bites no matter the layers
But i know where she is its time for five o’clock mass
The candles in the church flicker the heat turned up warm
Wafers and wine on the altar more than i have eaten in days
All i have to do is renounce my way of love
And i will be the prodigal son welcomed home
Instead of living in this rat hole
Where there is no water and the toilet is down the hall
Shivering in my boy shorts
Mary around my neck but she doesn’t see me
Pray for me
Because i don’t know how much longer i can hold on
Because the meds ran out and so did the health insurance
Because i’m too sick to work
Preexisting medical condition
Mama tells her friends i’m away at school
People think she is amazing to have raised such a son
Why wasn’t she amazing when grandpa was in my room
Why did she throw me out when i turned him in
Ugly stench of breath as he whispered his love
His cold hands froze my baby brother my cousin me
My soul is frozen still i have always hated winter
Freezing in this motel turning tricks to survive
Frozen death of my life
Perpetual numbness of long term pain
I look at the dusty cockroach in a spider web in the corner
Will i soon be curled up on my back
Frozen in rigor mortis like him
While the world goes on warm in its wealth

See all the entrants to 401st Weekly Poetry Contest