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Prayer Or Surrender

 William Taylor Jr
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 William Taylor Jr
Prayer Or Surrender
by William Taylor Jr  FollowFollow
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William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the...read more globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Poesy. An Age of Monsters, his first book of fiction, was published by Epic Rites Press in 2011. To Break the Heart of the Sun (Words Dance, 2016) is his latest collection of poetry. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Acker Award. He has a great and unironic love of both The Incredible Hulk and Olivia Newton-John
Prayer Or Surrender
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It was Mission St. and 9 a.m.
I was walking to work on a Monday
and part of it was the hangover
and part of it was the chubby prostitute
calling after me for blocks and blocks

and the sun was too bright
for such an early hour
and the smell of bus exhaust
mixed with the smell of piss
in every doorway

and it was the thought of 8 hours of work
and the thought of all the days ahead
so many of them destined to be much
like the one in hand
months and years of them piling up
like unread newspapers
outside abandoned homes

I looked up from a pile of somebody’s
shit
to a truck full of slaughtered pigs
outside the Chinese butcher shop

it was a big truck, tall and wide
and filled with  pig corpses
it must’ve been hundreds
and large Mexican men pulled them out
one by one and slung them upon their backs

I walked behind
and a dead pig’s empty eyes
asked me questions I could not answer

and then I couldn’t go another step
the sight and the smell and the thought of  everything
inside me like a disease
and there was nothing to do

but fall upon my knees
as in prayer or surrender

I closed my eyes
opened my mouth
and let it all go.

3 comments

Discussion

  2 months ago · in response to Donna Snyder

    Thanks, for reading, Donna!
  2 months ago
Love this one.