Get on Your Knees Again: Featured Poetry by Mark Yakich

July 2, 2019 | 1 book mentioned

Our series of poetry excerpts continues with a poem from Spiritual Exercises by Mark Yakich, a writer whose mixture of irreverence and the sublime results in a unique tone. Yakich always feels one line away from a joke or an epiphany, making “Revelations” an appropriate title for his style. So anaphoric that it feels like an incantation, Yakich’s poem compels us to read it forward and backward: a structure ready for descent and ascension.

“Revelations”

When they say, Time heals all wounds,
They mean, Worlds.

When they say, Worlds,
They mean, You won’t even recall how much you’ll forget.

When they say, Forget,
They mean, Someday you won’t know the name of your daughter.

When they say, Daughter,
They mean, God.

When they say, God,
They mean, Eternity.

When they say, Eternity,
They mean, Until you are gone, too.

When they say, Gone,
They mean, Everyone.

When they say, Everyone,
They mean, We have no idea what happens after this.

When they say, This,
They mean, Words.

When they say, Words,
They mean, Meaning.

When they say, Meaning,
They mean, That which passes for understanding.

When they say, Understanding,
They mean, Peace.

When they say, Peace,
They mean, By which the end is justified.

When they say, Justified,
They mean, Amen.

When they say, Amen,
They mean, Say no more.

When they say, More,
They mean, Get on your knees again.

When they say, Again,
They mean, Love, Love, Love.

From Spiritual Exercises by Mark Yakich, published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Mark Yakich.

is a staff writer for The Millions. He has written for Rolling Stone, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The Kenyon Review. His newest book is Ember Days, a collection of stories. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and twin daughters. Follow him @nickripatrazone and find more of his writing at www.nickripatrazone.com.

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