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Fourth Prayer of My Body

You are here, above this body, like a restful wing,
you, who are so rationally, so coolly generous
that I want to plead for what has already been,
because the future in all hearts is cloudless.

Braid together those bright days, that white burning,
those flashes of lightning that sleep in darkness;
wrap them around this now proud, erect body,
as a whip or as ivy—it makes no difference.

Braid them in a giant scar, harden them into faith,
only give me, give me that light, to drink with nightmare,
because all that grows dark within my Yesterday
I hide in the depths as a radiant Tomorrow.

Aco ŠopovNot-Being, 1963
Read the cycle “Prayers of My Body
Translated by Rawley Grau and Christina E. Kramer, The Long Coming of the Fire, Deep Vellum, 2023