by Amy Cannon
instructions for change
go away from here flee
your white-washed cell and your work
do not close the door but go leaving it open
if you are thirsty drink from the sea
it will prove sweet and do not fear
being thirsty later on god is here
god is everywhere
how should one pray?
the old man said there is no need
to make long discourses it is enough to stretch out your hands
and say have mercy and if the conflict grows say help
an anchorite able to banish demons asked them what is it that makes you go?
I say my little office
is it fasting? they said we do not eat or drink
I pray and meditate
vigils? they said we do not sleep
I live in peace
separation from the world? we live in deserts
what else can I do?
what sends you away? nothing can overcome us they said only humility
the old man stood up and stretched his hands toward heaven
his fingers became like ten lamps of fire he said
why not be utterly changed into fire?
Amy Katherine Cannon is a writer and writing teacher living in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Gerard Creative Writing Endowment. She is the author of the mini-chapbook ‘to make a desert’ (Platypus Press, 2016). Her work can be found in BOAAT, BODY, Juked, and LIT, among other places. She is Managing Editor of Palaver Arts Magazine, a student publication.