we prayed again on my living room floor,

knees cushioned by a duvet spread sideways,

outwards from sleep; you kicked it when you

leaned forward, pressed your forehead to my pillow

with the same clenched devotion

as the ball of a hand against the ball of an eye,

rubbing.

i thought you were long asleep

before you pressed your mouth to mine,

sweet with old toothpaste, teeth

clinking like spoons to cocoa mugs,

and you explode outwards, rocking

back and forth, back and forth, back

and forth, saying

“i’m not – i’m not –“

you say it and say it with

my spit wrapped around your lips;

like an atheist singing hymns

cross-legged in the school hall

you are not quite able to conjure up

the meaning in those words.