after Isaac Bashevis Singer
Receiver of prayers do not
recede into black holes, worm holes,
bending folds in space. Do not
reduce us to neurons,
algorithms, code. Remove
the dull film of blindered scientism,
rigid thought systems, superficial lists,
rushed conclusions, false certainties,
through which we see the world
more dimly than our ancestors.
Reverse in us a turned sense of wonder
at stars, oceans, mountains, all living things—
the snow owl that alighted, wings
aloft, on the roadside at dusk when we
were lost, the net pulled from the lilac
pond brimming, creatures wriggling through
our fingers, nipping our flesh. Restore in us
amazement at ourselves, each other, the beauty
of our form, the lightning bolt of connection
through a joke, a gesture, good talk. Return grandeur
to creation, a deserving crown to our heads.
Reject the daily news: despair, loneliness,
the overload, the-all-too-much.
Give us language to express our miraculous
circumstance, to recount the mystery
of our existence, unique in the cosmos
as far as we know, sacred so long as we insist,
here among the billions grown from the same
extraordinary seed, dependent on honor and hope,
chancing astonishment at what we have been given,
be there, not receding.
A native of Buffalo, New York and a graduate of Kenyon College, Jonathan Cohen lives in Norwalk, Connecticut. Several of his poems have appeared or are pending in Stone Canoe Journal, I-70 Review, Great Lakes Review, Naugatuck River Review, Cider Press Review, and others. He is a graduate of the Pocket MFA program and studies with Jon Davis.