A Prayer

By Jed Myers

A cormorant crosses a harbor low,
wings’ pulse keeping an air pillow
on the bird’s shadow, that black
belly a steady few inches aloft.

I know a soft blaze glows
in that dark fuselage. Fine fire courses
a delicate wire web to maintain
the arcane mechanics of constant

lift. A nameless attunement
in that sleek breast resets the ratio
heartbeat to wingbeat, pump’s clap
matching the instant’s requirement.

That fire’s quiet, discrete. We spread
our flame out in whatever gods’ names.
Our heat breaches containment.
We spark the wind with bright sticks.

I watch from an edge of the land
we’ve lit. I see the cormorant
reach a buoy and stand, wings held
wide to the air, a trusting, a prayer.