The Manchester Review
Vivek Narayanan
Two Poems
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Short Prayer to the Economy

prayers for fishes, tossed each to each in translucent glue
prayers for the hairy beasts, roistering in rolling tundra
if we are to conceive a world, conceive it—at all risk—one

prayers for the particular bicycle, knight of secular propulsion
prayers for uncoagulated human residue impossible to weigh in balance
and our economy that intricate grows, beyond forebearance

I’ve found I don’t know I need I to know who can I talk to who can I call what must I do where must I put it how can I use it what is your number who will you call where will we go how will we make it where will we put it who can I finger how will they take it where is the button how can I find it how did he get there who does he know what can it do where does it go how do you work it what will it work take what it will work it you do how does it where what can it do who does he know who did he get there how did he find it how is the button where will they take it how can I finger who will we put it where make it how we will go where call you what who number how how must I put where do I must what call I can who talk to I who can to know I need I know I don’t I found I feed

prayers for the musical crow, the intimate mosquito, whose kisses are here to stay
prayers for the contract killer, the contractual signer, unspeakable unimpeachable bond
and our shared godless theology translucent that hooks the day to day

prayers for all projectiles, red, yellow—somewhat bluish, spinning inert, riskily pulsed—
prayers for gashes of quarried stone, saunas of smelted aluminum, ever thinning
          veins of copper
from where the monstrous weather grows

I need to know he knows to talk to whom I catch we have to hear they have to give it has to know they could be us it could be risked if he will fund it risks a need it might survive if we can kill she could be right you could be caught he might be gone it could not happen they will be sharp it’s short it’s long they’re long we’re short it’s caught it’s sharp you could be right she could survive they need a risk it might be caught they fund we will if risked it could be killed they might survive it could survive it knows to give it has to have we risked them here they hear I catch to whom to talk he knows to know I need

prayers for the intestinal tract, whose winding road grows hidden
prayers for the rickety aeroplane, suspended in the air
the prickly fog will take us, we’ll soon be there

prayers for every scrawny stick uncountable, each one that I know by name
prayers for the murderous author, the dead reader, the dead read, the dead good
and lastly that arithmetic not of our making, its obsolete fire