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Morning Worship

I woke up dead this morning,
listened for the sound of my heart,
instead heard the woodpecker
chunking pine, stripping
bark, like a torn old shirt.

I woke up dead, eyed
the curved edge of mountains
against the gray beyond
my window, the planet
driving from its center,
straining to break free.

Water in the creek, I awoke
dead. On oak leaves, water
in the pot on the stove.
I made water. Leaned into the sink
trembled, goose bumps, baptized.

Dead, I awoke again,
to the musty smell in the old house,
of pollen from the mullein in the yard
wafting new among dank walls.
Emparticled life.

Listen. Every day I wake up
dead all over again
at a loss for prayers.
Then the world says:
Water. Woodpecker.
Pollen. Earth.


first published in The Texas Review