Prophetess Juanita Bynum, ‘typing in tongues’ on social media, 2011

 

the hands speak where tongues fail

(and if you can’t feel you must feel)

 

across the Atlantic, I am transcribing

the pastor’s elbow, at the self-service

 

counter narratives lose themselves

too easily in unstamped volumes

 

where I learn to tune into the distance

lying between prayer and promise

 

you will never leave nor forsake me

and my hope is within you, my faith

 

reaching for mustard, reaching for

the recorder at the fast food chain

 

reacts to this unvoiced congealment

of spirit-tongue to consonant-heavy keys

 

I transcribe this interview with a man

of God who names me sin in tongue-talk

 

she decipheress prophetess prayer

warrior and I guarded and girded in

 

my youth and the bible shaking within

and I can still feel even if I can’t feel