My prayer-cupped hands
Muslim men in the East, I'm told,
smoke biddies channeled
through cupped hands --
Mohammed having forbid tobacco
to ever touch their lips.
This is the kind of love song
with which I nightly serenade my Beloved,
exploring the convoluted ways
I might obey my Lord
and savor the smoke at the same time.
It is the illusion of our maneuverability
that keeps paradise just out of grasp.
Until I become that fabled ant
beneath the elephant's foot,
my cleverness and desire will ever reach out
for the birds in the bush and let loose
the one captured and singing
in my prayer-cupped hands.
O child of God, obey your Beloved and refrain
from the lies you tell yourself daily.