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