“Instructions for Assembling the Miracle” by Peter Cooley

Peter Cooley


Go light a candle in your darkest room.
If you can’t find the candle, find the room.
If you can’t find the room, then the candle.
If you go, you know, one of them will come.

It is simple, to pray, to meditate
You need to fly beyond expectation
And all you need is darkness and some light.

This morning I came into my study
Before dawn but the candle was this poem
Disguised as a sheet of plain white paper.
Because I left it here to wait for me
Last night before I slept it was on fire.
It’s a small flame I put my hand into
Without pain, with the gold transfiguring
Just everything in sight, which is enough.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007


Peter Cooley: “Many of my recent poems appear to be spiritual tool kits for the reader and this one can be found in the do-it-yourself aisle of the poetry store … Like all my recent poems, it was written in that liminal space between night and morning and though it’s very deliberative in its speech it arrived almost in one piece—or one uninterrupted voice. From the angel?”

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