I No Longer Pray

By Chelan Harkin

I no longer pray— 
now I drink dark chocolate 
and let the moon sing to me.

I no longer pray—
I let my ancestors dance 
through my hips
at the slightest provocation.

I no longer pray—
I go to the river
and howl my ancient pain 
into the current.

I no longer pray—
I ache, I desire,
I say “yes” to my longing.

I no longer pray as I was taught
but as the stars crawl
onto my lap like soft animals at nighttime 
and God tucks my hair behind my ears 
with the gentle fingers of her wind
and a new intimacy is uncovered in everything,
perhaps it's that I’m finally learning 
how to pray.


Susceptible to Light, by Chelan Harkin, is a collection of poetry that is mystical and ecstatic in nature--mystical defined as anything having to do with opening the heart to light and ecstatic having to do with anything expressed from this place. Susceptible to Light is here to remind you of your joy, to assist you in reconsidering ways of relating to your life that better serve and open your heart, to deconstruct anything about God that doesn’t feel close, intimate, authentic, and warm, and to remind your soul to break the surface and take a breath. Rumi says, “What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest.” (Barks, Rumi the Book of Love, 2003) May this collection help you feel a taste of that sweet openness. Hafiz says, “God and I have become like two giant fat people living in a tiny boat. We keep bumping into each other and laughing." (Ladinsky, The Gift, 1999, p. 199) May this collection help you feel the possibility of that kind of laughter.