blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
translation by Jennifer Grotz

Psalm 6

Then I came to dream of writing
the great prayer of our time . . .

This ambition plagues me constantly:
I could never have the right to such a voice.

I draw, of course, from the choir of voices in my soul,
voices that come to me through blood or friendship,

chance cries and similar calls for grace,
even echoes of those I’ve barely encountered.

I assemble an interior liturgy in this way,
by finding the great number who reside in me.

If my dream is laughable, Lord,
extinguish it, for it consumes me.

It guides me in what I seek:
could poetry be a kind of grace?

I hold on to this lovely hope
more tenacious at times than my demons.

But human thirst infiltrates it as well:
my most intimate liturgy would like to be the most intimate of all.

One must be able to hear the cry of others, to do nothing but
empty the self for the sake of a common call.

To hear in the voices of others your love cry and your lament:
so I go silent: you hold me.  end

return to top