Here is a vessel with a prayer inside it.
The prayer is a thing of beauty and terror.
It was born in the heart, the house of all desire.
When Pandora cut the knot and threw wide
the box of woes, it must have been her own
heart she slashed, its human gristle and
red mystery laid open –
prayers like flame rushing forth
to streak across the night (the dark,
unknowable, and ponderous body of god).
This vessel has a heart.
Its blood tides are freighted with prayers
that flow from room to thunderous room.
The doors slam after them, drumming
the rhythm of life.
The doors of the heart work by an arrangement of pulleys,
the chordae, a word like celestial song
that is merely the word for strings –
the strings of the marionette, of the instrument, of bondage –
the prayers pluck them,
causing tremors, or music, or pain.
In the heart of this vessel there have been
prayers of love, prayers of fear,
prayers like ancient curses,
and others of sweet gratitude.
They have really all been the same prayer,
which is why there is now only one.
I am, I am.
Know me, know me.
It whispers out of the depth of the vessel,
from the glowing coal of its origin –
the single hot weld that fixes it, like a star
on the volcanic heavens, to the dreaming
heart of the universe.
It is a closed system of ravenous yearning.
There is no way to open it.