“How to Pray” by Annelyse Gelman

Annelyse Gelman


Bless the unglamorous panties
crusted with blood, the smear
of lotion around the bottle’s cap.
Bless the discount bubble bath

and the unrinsed robe
of dead skin, House of Leaves
back-to-back with Calvin & Hobbes
with Anne Frank’s diary with 101

Wacky Camping Jokes, glasses
smudged, pens uncapped. Bless
the expired, unfinished to-do list.
The crooked painting. Flecks

of spit on the bathroom mirror.
Bless the ugly, the uncinematic.
Let this be the year of the rough
draft, of waking up with morning

breath and no makeup, of calling
our moms. Bless the razor
I’ve used to shave my armpits
for three weeks straight. The greasy

stain on my winter coat. Bless
the winter coat and its broken
zipper and weird pointy hood, bless
the actual slug that once crawled

from my bike helmet to my face
in the pasta aisle, bless that face
then and now, your face, pimples and sweat
and regrettable facial hair,

the cheap pink plastic flower-shaped
lamp salvaged from the dumpster
and nailed to the wall
nonetheless glowing.

from Rattle #49, Fall 2015
Tribute to Scientists

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Annelyse Gelman: “I studied cognitive science and worked doing research in social cognition labs because I wanted to understand how people think, and I write poetry for exactly the same reason.” (website)

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