The Bedtime Prayer of a Girl, Nineteen, at a Silent Altar
The altar of my bedroom fell into place on accident.
I don’t worship here, I don’t worship anywhere,
but it feels sacred. I trust that here I am safe enough
to close my eyes and dream of a world
of which I am not me. I dim the lights and light a
candle to represent my suffering. Here, there is peace.
Within these walls, there is a temple, preserved for my
own iniquity. But I have no fellow congregants. No, I pray
alone. I didn’t arrange this altar on purpose. It just
happened. And now I pray for my soul to flee.
Do you have an altar too? I visited your heart once, but
I didn’t see one there. If you build one, I promise
I will bring a sacrifice — a cigarette, maybe a love poem.
Would you bring me one too? Would you stop me
from slipping away into dreamless, eternal sleep?
A Lover’s Last Embrace
April 26, 1986
Right before the blast, two lovers
touched their lips together for the
last time. Tears fell down their faces
as they told each other of their lack
Fire rained down from the heavens as
he walked down the road alone.
He stopped and let it kiss his face,
burning down his cheeks.
If the room was burning
would you stay and go up in flames
reduced to embers?
I feel sick to my stomach inhaling the fumes
retching with the thought of living
in a barren landscape alone.
aphrodite returns to the sea
destitution remains the primary word in my brain
as i walk across the ocean of my fear
there is not much else to say
the shoes i have never worn are left on the shore
no one is there to pick them up and run after me
pleading for me to stay
the sea is welcoming but it is cold
colder than the earth
cherubim and seraphim
celebrated my departure with horns and harps
tearstreaked faces and broken wings
the apocalypse of john is upon us
so i must leave
a false idol of myself in this monothesitic world
being banished to
the foam that birthed me
and it says
Anna Schmeer is a young poet currently from Kansas City. She has been previously published in elementia, Milk Carton Press, My Cityline, and BreakBread Magazine. She has been an editor for PIECES: Literary and Art Magazine. She spends her free time binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, reading an insane amount of books at one time, or sitting around writing poetry.