“Prayers from the Cellar: Sobibor, 1943” by Anne Adragna

Adonai,

You tell me first of my heart,
the frenetic beneath
my chest, so persistent it beats
even when I beg it stop.

I listen for you in the constant
pounding, fingers curled
to the dent below my collarbone,
but the darkness has grown
deafening. I cannot hear you.

The pounding is all I’ve heard for days;
the silence of this place.

*

Yahweh,

I never thought darkness
could be this loud.
We’ve been without light
for almost two days
and I feel fingers wrapped
around the back of my head
squeezing my skull,
pulling at my thoughts.

*
Jehovah,

My body has numbed,
tingling when I find the energy
to move. I imagine ladybugs
crawling across my skin,
reminding my heart to beat,
keeping me awake,
though I’m not sure why they bother.

I don’t think I will be here much longer.

*

My Creator,

Make me a garden.
Cut through the seams
holding my body together,
clean across my spine.
Unwrap my skin like a precious gift
although there is nothing,
only bones, left inside.

Arrange my bones like a bouquet,
my skin the soil they will sprout from,
make this my beginning.

I will be joining you shortly.

*

Lord,

It’s been RAINING for days
pressing on the wooden roof
trying to BREAK through
like Noah’s flood
we haven’t had water
since I lost track of time
my nails are bleeding
but the ceiling still won’t MOVE

*

My Father,

The cell walls are crumbling
I feel them tremble in my sleep
caving under the heaviness of light
we are hollow columns
skeletons with bloated stomachs

The walls in me have broken
the strings holding my body together
tearing in different directions
a flood has started
to escape we must stop swimming

*

god,

my head is on fire
i can feel it in the way my scalp
tingles but it’s too dark
to find the flame this darkness
is burning me whole
cage is on fire someone
turn on the goddamn light.

(why) can’t i hear you?

About the Author:
Anne Adragna lives in Charleston, South Carolina where she attends high school and bags groceries. This is her first publication.

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