Editors’ Choice: Jennifer Collins

Knots of Grace

What looks like prayer stills
the coffee I was about to pour,
slipping a breath of meditation
into my movement to you.

In your solitude, I realize

I should not be able to expect you at this moment.
I should not know this is your favorite shirt, even with the stained sleeve.
I should not know the green in your right eye, not your left.

What looks like prayer tickles my throat
and I freeze my teeth against a cough
or an awkward grin that could interrupt
this before I move to you.

In your clenched hands, I see clearly,

I should not feel the breath of my heart or the presence of each footfall.
I should not wonder about the slant of my hair or my faded apron.
I should not see my shadows more than your progression.

What looks like prayer stills me
to ask whether this coffee is
for last night or today,
your past, or my present.

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