wrong, what jerked-up dumb show, know-nothing, nothing
but strings jerking on strings, unloved, over-governed, outline plotted
dolls hog-tied to other dolls, stringing them along, egging them on,
what short-order mannequins and blood-drenched negligees.
Want to know what's gone? My sister's dead. That's gone.
And this jerry-rigged pretender no more heart
than a seven-year ball of rubber bands is a soul.
What is prayer but a rigged-up jerking doll hefting
its measly petitions—don't let her die, don't let her die—heaving over
and over our over-willed stillborn over-determined begging.
When it's over and the nauseous credits roll what's gone
is time. Gone the girl praying to the puppeteer. That girl
strung out on prayer. She's gone.