I want to learn you like a prayer
clasp my hands together like they taught me
or feel the familiar fingerprint of The Good Book
and recite the words strong enough
to grant me forgiveness.
I want my knees to be sore from the practice
until you're second nature
and the mere thought of you carries
the smell of incense and
the echo of a wise man's voice.
but then again, I don't.
I'd rather speak you like a speech I haven't practiced
tripping blindly over you
with words like marbles in my mouth
turning quick corners
on sentences I've never read before
and words I couldn't translate
and accents put where accents shouldn't be
mistakes so genuine
they couldn't be more true
sometimes i feel like i've been praying my whole life for the one. whoever he is. or isn't. i mean i've had this idea in my head for the longest time that there is someone just on the other side of me. but he just hasn't found me yet. and i tend to think (or moreso have come to believe) that there is a plan, and it's not mine.
happenstance and randomness make life interesting. it's something i have come to terms with. the unexpected.
and sheesh, it's been a long time since i've met someone i was kinda nervous around, or felt giddy and 15, and full-bodied aware of.
life isn't real unless it is full of mistakes...that is what makes us human...i like the parallel here...love in religious images...really works...it reminds me of Madonna's "Like a Prayer"---
perhaps some may think it sacrilegious to use these kinds of metaphors...i don't ...i think it is a powerful way to express.
Emily Dickinson didn't believe...yet---she used so many allusions to god, eternity, etc...even used the hymnal form in her poetry..and it worked...
"i want my knees to be sore from the practice"---and "accents where accents shouldn't be"---
I am in awe of the lines you've placed here.
It's almost raw in an innocent type of way. When you first open the page, and understanding isn't reached, yet the yearning to read between the lines and reach beyond the simple minded.
I can't find fault, but I have found a favorite. This will probably be one of the few short comments that I've left someone, but I really can't critique this. The last stanza seemed to take me out of my seat, and let me dance between your words.
Rubie, I love this. I like how the speaker decides mid-poem that they don't want to know this person verbatim. Like a ritual or a prayer; with safety in predictability. But instead...well, how you put it--which was pretty much perfect. The fumbling over words.
Ah; the first part is religious practice and the second part is mystical outreach, or maybe any poem at all!
I'm an atheist but only because I think the divine spirit is closer to everything than religions have so far described. So the spirit of this poem is much to my liking and also, for the language and build of the poem and the rhythm of its speech, I think you are a fine poet, a natural as they say, for you can never find a line without the music in it.
To criticize: maybe a study of your lineation would pay off. I found fault (just personal taste) with some of the divisions between line and line; and so, since there are so many viable alternatives for suchlike choices, I was wondering if you had actually yet developed a quick perception of what all the alternatives might be, when you come to the end of each line and the start of the next line.