Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Poem: Solstice

most days, no meaning
there- rolling out of
bed, rolling into
jeans, lucky for a
shower first, maybe;

trying not to be
too hungover to do,
I do, what I need
to do- aliyah, adamah.
dirty work this is, yes…

shema yisrael
adonai elohanyu
adonai echad

damned dirty work.
still, it is nothing
there is no God but
adamah, damnit…

Tehom; Tiamat,
then Leviathan-
dreams devour. winds blow
over. broken by the
sun, Eostre now past…

oh, Sarah, how I
whisper, trembling, it’s
too early, the harvest,
only she, she only,
trembling I touch her,
a farmer’s wife knows.

she turns me away
before rolling over,
finding deeper dreams
than mine, sweeter than
mine, rolling me on…

adamah, adamah, adamah,

oh, Sarah… Sheol.
damned dirty work
this is, dirty work.
yerida, aliyah, adamah.

gravity rolls my
work back down: summer,
winter; spring, autumn…

aliyah, yerida

the sun is way up
there today, as high
as it will ever
get, here, at least, and
hot… I should have worn
my cut-offs.


some days, nada y nada,
sweat and suffer and
wait for the cool night
air, and some days, maybe
today, perhaps a word,
halting, succor, and
most days nothing-

yerida, yerida

no Sacrifices,
no forgotten rites
remembered, no dreams
of blood on the altar,
no hopes of grain raised
almost to the sky.

no land, this land; our
land. no words, no land-
just dirt for my blood,
the same… they say…

and if I only had
one eye I could hang
myself, Sarah, for
myself, for you, for
them, for everything.

adamah, aliyah, yerida-
no more.

but snakes sunbathe in
the too tall grass back
there and the boys beg
me- take us some place
new. away,

aliyah, aliyah.

so I do my dance,
words without music,
yes. that’s it. we will.
I’ll do it. no more,

yerida, yerida.

I don’t tell them about
seeing three men on
a hill. kind of like
a picnic, I say
instead, for three days,

like Jonah… Sheol.

I mumble and they
shrug. I offer something
older, covered in
dust deeply, safer than
that damned overgrown
yard back behind us.

if only I had but
just the one eye…

today, it is the
Solstice- a day. no
more than a thought, just
some damned word. like an
untenable promise,
yerida, we are
all set up to fail.

standing still, too still
in my jeans, I turn
my face to the sun.
what time is it? I
ask. it’s too hot. I
ask anyway.

my boys play along,
telling the time by
the angle of my
shadow on the earth.

it’s today, they tell
me. Solstice. everything’s
all up and down. clear.
it is today. it
is not their voices

I hear. I see it
with my own two eyes.
it is written on
all of our foreheads.

adamah, adamah, aliyah

Isaac, I say, it’s
getting late, it’s time
to roll it up here.
Ishmael, wait here. and
buckle in, Isaac,
be safe. Ishmael, damnit,
not now…

there is only room for
one right now. your ride
is coming, I promise.

next year, maybe, or
the next year, and it
maybe won’t be so
damned hot, and if it
is, I’ll wear my cut-offs.

I promise. a word
to myself. we’ll roll.
adamah, aliyah, yerida.
I quit this. I quit.
yerida. salaam. shalom.


quickly now, buckle
in Isaac. I can’t
move the car until
I know you are safe.
I sing la, la, la
no, we’re rolling away-

yerida, aliyah, adamah
adamah. oh Sarah… adamah
wake up! adamah.
I need our eyes together!
I turn the key… adamah.

shalom, Ishmael. salaam, Isaac.
adamah. adamah. rolling…
no. adamah. no more…


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