I open my notebook from the back
and pray my poems to the front.
It’s how this left-handed poet prays,
verses written where indexes
should stay, or acknowledgements
of people who believed in me.
Here’s where the praying starts,
where the Red Sea parts, words
dammed until, at God’s command,
they fill the dry sea bed in my head.
I always prayed this way. Even in
synagogue at night I read from the
right to the left. Well, poems are
prayers, too. They merely challenge
you to decode every odious line
as they emerge from the purge
in your mind. They’re babies just
born, their pudgy stanzas
of character unformed.