Arts & Culture

Poem: In the Time of Elul

We visit gravesites, mark a year’s passing, turn in in order to turn out another dimension. We rough our smooth edges.   We visit gravesites, cemented on grass and dirt, cover their tops with rocks, thin bricks line our chest, … Read More

By / August 21, 2009

We visit gravesites, mark

a year’s passing, turn in in

order to turn out another dimension.

We rough our smooth edges.

 

We visit gravesites, cemented

on grass and dirt, cover their tops

with rocks, thin bricks line

our chest, cavities of past mistakes.

 

We fail ourselves, calling mistakes

failures. We don’t just bury

past mistakes, we return them,

admonished. Failing to breathe

 

my chest, x-rayed again. Turning,

I turn my body before technicians ask,

knowing routine, knowing

machines better than skin

 

of lovers, I turn. Arms up. Ready. Exposed

passed my mistakes again, and go back

 

in the time of Elul. I am my own

beloved, as my beloved is mine

and I don’t prepare to apologize.

Not this time. How does one prepare

 

if one doesn’t apologize? I plotted

gravesites enough, yours and mine.

I sorried myself for you, calling

mistakes failures. Said I’m sorry,

 

wrong or right. Buried on top,

catacombed by thin bricks

lining my chest-grieving sites

of past mistakes, x-

 

raying failures. Have I done enough?

Did I fail, my mistake, again?

Blow another ram’s horn, another year,

caved, my chest glares back up

 

to me and grimaces Enough!

You’ve done enough this time!

The gravesites:        tended.

 

Wrong or right, we want to know

will we be held?

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Image of KosKomárom – zsidó temet?. Author: Szeder László courtesy of kosherdelights.com