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I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Havdallah with a Gun

There is a ritual in the Jewish tradition, performed in the very narrow space that separates the holiness of Shabbat from the ordinariness of the rest of the week. The short service recognizes this sacred distinction through blessings over wine and spice and the flame of a candle. I used this service, called Havdallah, as the foundation of my poem, Havdallah with a Gun.

In praise of blood--
a pulse beat furrow
hat runs royal blue to garnet,
to brown and black, but for the
space of a breath,
it is rich and sweet
and runs like wine,
like water, like life
in its pulse beat furrows,
until it pools in the cracks 
and fissures of pavement--
rubble now, rent, once
a playground
a building,
the brick and bones
of commerce
or worship
or home.

In praise of the scent of
oil and steel, the plastic
and ozone stench
that I imagine,
like musk 
and spice
that catches, in a draft
on the wind 
and carries with it--
singing and sharp--
the corruption of death.

In praise of a spark
that singular moment
of explosion, contained 
in that flash,
that spreads like 
light, that brings no warmth, 
and nothingness follows in its wake
and it offers a psalm 
of metal striking metal
that swallows sound
a single flameless spark
disappearing into the 
weighted scent of oil 
and blood.

A benediction, a 
prayer, for a 
life, for a
death, for
a gun.