Prayer for Saturdays (After Paulus Silentarius)

by Stephanie Burt

(Greek Anthology 5:219)
It’s better when you blush
	before you kiss me, better
if they don’t find out.
	Let’s tie each other’s shoes.
Let’s run a race we mean to lose.

	Let’s have a crush
that violates the spirit, but never the letter
	of the Comics Code,
where what you almost
	see is more important than what you can.

Let’s run together like melted butter
        under our shared cotton coverlet
tonight, and never let
        anyone tell us we’re brave, or foolish, or bold,
nor give each other reason to doubt.
        Let’s make each other toast
tomorrow morning. Get out your pocket
        calendar. Let’s make our sleepover plan.

Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard. Among her recent books are After Callimachus (Princeton UP, 2020) and Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems (Basic, 2019). A new chapbook of poems about superheroes will appear from Rain Taxi Editions this year, and a new full-length from Graywolf in 2022.