Prayer with Projector


If seasons are still cyclical

if cylinders can still

            the incessant rolling

if the film can still be spliced

to tighten the pace.

            If the reel can be looped

can lead me in a circle:

O let me back

           in this place.

If incandescence isn’t extinct

then cast an oval

            of gold & let me

near the glow.

Stitch the frames

          & tick

the strip          let perforations

hug the sprocket’s teeth.

            Fit each hole

& roll your moments

past the light.

            Lens, splash the screen

in images of spring.


           play      &    play    

                    &     play    the loop

Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the poetry collections Doll Apollo and Dear Weather Ghost, the novels The House Uptown and Sunset City, and three poetry chapbooks, Arbor, Double Blind, and Apollo. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Image, Guernica, Kenyon Review, Fence, Southwest Review, and other magazines. Her work has been recognized by the Writers' League of Texas and the Mississippi Arts Commission. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Mississippi, and serves as Associate Editor of Tupelo Quarterly. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.