They say that we no longer offer sacrifices –
But how can that be true?
From miles around they flocked to our synagogue –
Hundreds of them –
Masses of hearts laden with vows sealed, kept, broken, un-conceived;
And as though it had been the inner courtyard itself
They filled the sanctuary,
Looking up at me with a child’s hopeful visage.
I wanted to weep because I wasn’t ready.
I felt too heavy with the weight of my own confession,
Terrified of passing into that long night alone.
Flashes of memory (vivid, horrid)
Reminded me that wings and feathers are sinew and blood;
They break, they mend, they are ephemeral.
In that sea of flesh and hopes I saw myself suddenly:
Alone, small, timid, aching,
Placed on the desolate bamah
Like a blemished lamb.
Twilight marked the beginning of the longest day of our year.
And into that sea of flesh and hopes you suddenly appeared.
I think you didn’t know it then –
In the flood of so many souls –
But your eyes spoke kindly to me.
Suddenly I remembered you –
You whose every aspect evokes chaos in me.
You, whose every word is a love I don’t dare fathom.
You stood in the back of the room and in that moment –
Thirty six angels and you were the brightest.
I don’t remember when, but I started singing;
I closed my eyes, feeling the weight of yours,
Daring for the first time to look into the murky mirror,
I remembered a time when we were ourselves.
Somehow I imagined myself placing the notes, one by one,
Hands trembling in front of the altar –lining them up like stones.
Sun on the horizon (spark and flame)
the stones burst into life.
Stay with me, I whispered into the gloom,
Always, you said.