Prayer to the Peripheral
Poem by J.P. Dancing Bear. Photo by Kees Terberg.

All afternoon the gods reveal themselves in animal clouds,
so one tribal legend is told, an oar in the water
of my mouth. Before anymore secrets slip,
I have to genuflect in my creaking boat,
an underbreath-prayer to the peripheral.
That fox god who remains the only muddy shore
for miles is listening to the underworld.
The hum of insects makes me
dizzy. A hungry biology I
sometimes forget
is mutual.
I pass right under the fox's muzzle,
my breath held
tight and small.

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