My Saba’s prayer book 

idles on a pedestal 

of magazines and opened mail, 

receipts and peanut crumbs, 

its borders, embroidered, 

a mantlepiece for 

yesterday things. 


It reclines against routine, 

drapes a holy face 

over coupon clippings—


And I see my Saba in its binds. 

Hear his humming 

swell from the pages, pressed closed.

His scar, a crease in the spine.

His smile glints in the cross-stitching.


And he soaks his perch with his prayers, 

my grandfather on our kitchen table.