23 November 2010
listening for the sound past your voice.
My face and the pillowcase in a
phone balanced on my head where
I can pretend it isn't.
Suspending reality so
if I reach out next to me,
I'll find warmth.
Watching the night loiter
between us and the ceiling.
Even your silences have a way with words.
I hear the touch of our slow dancing fingers
on this midnight road trip of no
each in the double role of driver and passenger,
neither likely to be the first to ask,
Are we there, yet?
We are off the map.
This night different from all other nights,
a glimpse of a well-lit thoroughfare, and
I am overwhelmingly aware I'd so rather be going
Those words don't come with sound.
Instead, I imagine our fingers stilled, intertwined,
and just breathe
It's good to hear you catches me with
an unfamiliar drumming.
My pause before Goodnight is a prayer of gratitude.
It is good. All of it.
I turn my hand in yours and we drift
in cheshire darkness.
I’ve never worn a costume
on Yom Kippur.
like the debauched bride
on their wedding days,
who blush when
great aunts speak of babies
as though they don’t already have
Sitting in my car
south and east
of the temple
drinking the soy latte in a paper cup I
bought this morning after I
foundation-covered the zits that
stood out more on my face after I
straightened the hair I’d just
blown dry after I
washed it in the first
on Yom Kippur
in at least 18 years.
I didn’t blush then, either.
My first time.
Too young to vote,
I drove myself innocently to a shul on
Reveled in the letters I couldn’t read,
picked up melodies like memories.
I can still hear the sound of
picture the face of
who blew it.
I didn’t wear white for Yom Kippur that year.
I didn’t know my soul would be wrapped in white
at my death.
I did teach myself about fasting from
which at sevemteen I rightly assumed meant sex,
married or not,
as two or as one,
Kol Nidre means
all vows, but
You void them before we make them,
Who are You letting off easy?
This year, I pass.
Really, I don’t mind skipping my turn.
No making, no keeping.
Whether you keep Yours depends greatly on
a drenched sun keeps rising over Pakistan
and setting over Haitians the earth hasn’t entirely swallowed whole.
The sky rains freshwater into dusty refugee camp buckets,
and the wind blows cool through hair matted to the
charred heads of burned down villages.
But the righteous never go hungry.
Those were Your words.
I’m giving them back to You.
in my canvas shoes
and my white
sitting in my car drinking coffee.
I make feline eye contact before I turn my face from You.
Late for breakfast,
as I watch you with my peripheral vision,
my cup pauses in its path.
You had words enough to
the entire Torah.
Why do You have no words for me.
You named us lovers, and
bid we sing of each other,
to each other,
in a garden.
Partners in Creation,
Apparently nothing but scripted adolescent proclamations on the
thrust of a high school stage.
This act is improve.
Adonai, s’fatai Tiftach,
To whom do You pray
when Your lips are stiff,
and the words You want to speak cannot get past them?
It’s hard to believe, but
I’m still making space for You,
under the chuppah.
Gripping a limb of a cypress tree
in each hand,
You could show up bride or groom.
In Your absence I’ve played both parts,
and You being either would find me relieved.
Behind lidded eyes I,
sip my coffee.
It’s just me in here,
under an open sky,
wrapped in something dark, because,
I can remember Your breath
on my face, and I’m
not ashamed for people to know
we knew each other
23 September 2009
You hold hope
before me like
a kiddush cup
brimming with promises like
like these days
when we say
and we will return
as in days of old
back when our hearts were
too big to be broken, and
our spines were too strong
Nothing is the same now
that promises have been broken
Nothing is the same now
that mistakes have been made
is the same
That man over there has a shofar in his hand
as though it is time to move on,
as though we know where we are going,
as though someone
asked for directions, but
You say I stood at Sinai, but
I don’t remember the sound of the shofar
I don’t remember the thunder
or the lightening
I can’t even remember
wracked with guilt, and
drenched in my deceit,
corrupt and abominable and
made in Your image.
You know I love You back.
all I want,
all I ever
is to know
My life in
because you put all Your hope
it seems the least,
the very least,
I can do.
Sipped through chapped lips
I can feel the vine
in my throat as
I beg you
not to be
all I have left
06 August 2009
the night is darker by the day, and the
multiplying stars the consolation prize for the
stiffness in my back, the tightness in my legs,
my old scars.
unrecognized like Cuba,
reminding me of what I’ve known all along.
Homeland Security should hire the Title9 Frog Bra to work in Gitmo.
under pressure my breasts tell everything.
I am eating historical romance like Chex Mix,
digging for chocolate; ignoring the pretzels.
Nonsensical sexual physics is of no consequence.
A little bit Moulan Rouge -funny.
Now that I mention it,
I am wanting a chocolatier truffle that tastes like a kaleidoscope;
still I know months like these I take the flat-orange flavored Kit Kat I can get.
The near-week of hog wild thundering goddamnitalltohellIknowwhatIwant
screaming from every cell has been reckless.
It slams into my gut
and turns me into wreckage and once I am weakened
hormonal abandonment taking unlatched-metal-barn-door-in-a-windstorm
swings at me.
I wake up leaking blood.
headed quickly toward empty.
a warning light comes on
but pages of bastard children
sired on willing women
by randy men are impotent after all.
I set aside my romance novels
and bad chocolate
and lie here bleeding.
jagged cliff gripping to air
over the dry riverbed
made for water
not by it.
right names into the rock.
the eye of the needle
an opening in the doorposts
back embracing the cool of rock
feet flat against the blackberry cliff.
the dizzying whir of height and air
whispered memory of the security
of a perch between
the white of the sky is nothing but clouds and turkey vultures
voicing their dominion
or at least reminding us that they are the hosts
and we the visitors, but
we are not here to know the sky.
some say the devil is in these cliffs,
afraid of being known,
persuading it is better you go back to
the needling whir of cars and computers, but
we are not here to know the devil.
my fingers lick the crevice of the cliff
with the wisdom of whirls and ridges,
seeking truth in rock
face pressed against the clammy stone.
I breathe the scent of time like
a mother’s skin
a cloud of memory and
the intimacy of one murmuring voice
no more still than the trickle of water dancing down the cracks
beckoning to be known.
03 February 2009
You offered to give me the wind,
as though you could,
and as though I might accept it.
I wanted to hold my arms out to you
and welcome you in
but I didn’t.
It was blowing too hard
and the clouds were too heavy
and the air smelled of nothing more than cold, salty nights.
You stood there
looking at me
knowing you were only half invited
I looked back
knowing I wasn’t inviting you at all.
You walked away from my walls,
I stood on the other side of my screen door
neither of us even said good-night.
I cried for hours
and then suddenly realized
the clouds had not meant rain
the air was just air
and what you offered
wasn’t the wind.
I had taken you outside so it would be dark;
there is more space in darkness,
and more intimacy.
I would be better able to listen,
actually hear your thoughts and feelings,
having already thoroughly felt and expressed my own.
Even for me, sometimes there is nothing more to say.
I was attending your words,
none of which surprised me.
Truth be told, your face said it all from the first.
Thankful for the darkness, thinking to myself how much I
like who you are, even in this,
I stopped hearing your words and focused instead on your breaths
My careful attention was split by the distraction of March air,
and the tangle of branches and new leaves,
that had caught onto a host of stars,
with no thought of letting go.