As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Patricia Killelea – Poetry

The Almost-Prayer

Help me to remember the edge of speech:
I know it had to do with hunger and stunted hands
squeezing the last crumbs of what doesn’t last. 

The sound of it all: a terrible test pooling at our feet. 

What to name our coming days if not the sound of furious melting, 
what’s heard gasping between stolen breaths on stolen lands, 
our words breaking apart in sheets floating further south. 

Help me also to return from the starving grounds:
I know there is a space from which the ancestors watch us. 
I stopped there once between two trains about to collide

and I was the missing set of tracks I was the absence of wind I was the glacier melting 
	and drowning the last word ever questioned.

It tasted like spoiled deer-meat and everyone was afraid.
Contributor’s Notes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatricia Killelea is a mixed-heritage Chicana poet and musician. She is the author of the poetry collection Other Suns, which is available from Swan Scythe Press (2011), and is currently a Ph.D Candidate in the Native American Studies department at the University of California at Davis, where her research focuses on contemporary American Indian poetry, particularly experimental indigenous poetics. She holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and English, also from UC Davis. Originally from the Bay Area, CA, she has taught the Introduction to Native American Literature course at UC Davis since Fall 2009, and she is also revising her second manuscript, tentatively titled Counterglow. She is the bassist in the metal band Valley of Thorns, and in August of 2013, she will be an artist in residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute, where she’ll be creating digital video poems. Find out about all of her projects at

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