Prayer

God give me strength to lead a double life.
Cut me in half.
Make each half happy in its own way
with what is left.
Let me disobey
my own best instincts
and do what I want to do, whatever that may be
without regretting it, or thinking that I might.

When I come late at night from home,
saying I have to go away,
remind me to look out the window,
to see which house I’m in.
Pin a smile on my face
when I turn up two weeks later with a tan
and presents for everyone.

Teach me how to stand and where to look
when I say the words
about where I’ve been
and what sort of time I’ve had.
Was it good or bad or somewhere in between?
I’d like to know how I feel about these things,
perhaps you’d let me know?

When it’s time to go to bed in one of my lives,
go ahead of me up the stairs,
shine a light in the corners of my room.
Tell me this: do I wear pajamas here,
or sleep with nothing on?
If you can’t oblige me by cutting me in half,
God give me strength to lead a double life.

– Hugo Williams

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About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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