Poetry: A Prayer to Saint Anthony by Matthew Schultz

A Prayer to Saint Anthony

Bursting bombs and unwelcome guests have attuned our senses,
eyes and hearts search for beauty and find it in a wrinkle
between the siren’s howls. All sound will lose its energy, eventually.
In the interstice, a melody plays from an abandoned car’s stereo
and a migrant crowd has stopped to listen until the siren sounds again.
Faraway, we watch on our screens as a body burns and, to my horror,
I think of summer festivals and the scent of grilled meats––
it’s a war of the senses that reminds me just how much I miss Bourdain
who would have had something to say while the rest of us are wrecked
into silence. He’d plead with food and drink and song and dance:
we are but flakes of snow, each unique and yet enitirely the same.
O, Holy Anthony, gentlest of the saints, whose heart was ever full
of human sympathy, we have lost our humanity once again.
Are we even worthy of asking you to help us find it? Amen.

Matthew Schultz is the author of Inflorescence (Alien Buddha) and Encomium: Cento Paradelles (Beir Bua). Icaros, a collection of prose poems, is forthcoming from ELJ Editions in May. 


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