Molly Pershin Raynor

while hiking in joaquin miller woods

a prayer


queen flame / take me as your bride
of silver rain / veil of spanish moss

& spidersilk / gown of jungleghosts /
lilyblack & draped in pale winter light

heavy with hot blood / burn stars in me
the shape of cloves / the shape of my

mother’s roses in may / strip me of regret
like eucalyptus bark / wet white beneath

my hardened red / pull from me all living
things / earthworms pressing slow through

mud /my gathered skin split ripe & cool / i
am a heavy pearl / a city of ash above the

golden ginko & redwoods / i am a thorn
of amber tears / a stone of scars & sap /

soften my sharp / bring your mouth to
mine with milk of dusk & dawn / build

a temple of ferns for me to slumber /
to find god in the yellow husk / the deep

blue beeswax / smooth the edges of my
calloused palm / read my roots like river


Molly Pershin Raynor is a poet and educator. She has facilitated creative writing workshops in prisons, high schools, and teen centers, and has traveled coast to coast performing spoken word and organizing youth slams. Molly co-founded RAW Talent with poet Donte Clark, which recently merged with the RYSE Center in Richmond, California to become its performing arts program. Molly recently moved back to her hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan to serve as Literary Arts Program Manager at the Neutral Zone Teen Center. She has published two poetry chapbooks and has been featured on NPR.

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