Today I invoked the name of God. Today I asked about the possibility of mercy. Today I asked if celestial ears ever heard pleading. My plea, the infinitesimal rising and falling of the chest whose tempo wavers between staccato and stillness. Today I try to maintain stillness. Today I can’t maintain stillness. Today it will take all of me to steady my legs, to put one foot in front of the other, to walk in a straight line, to keep my knees from buckling, as if in a pew.

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