Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shema (Listen)

The day the sun in setting
cast a t-shaped shadow on Jerusalem,
cascaded its magmatic gaze
over wood and iron
and blood,
it sowed gold into soiled seed
that eventually would concede me,
the tent-skin of my swathing
equal parts aurum and melanin,
a Dome of the Rock reflection
speckling Zion in my flesh.

Jerusalem, round like a crown
in the closing eyes of the Christ,
I am still finding your stations’ sand
in the atlases of my palms,
in the crescents of my fingertips.
When I wake, my tongue is already dancing
over the savor of your Shemas,
my hair electrically erect
like the tessellated minarets
whose summons humble me
regardless of creed.

My King loved you, Jerusalem.
He proved it with symbols He knew you’d recall,
Isaac’s brier crowning His brow
and Moses’ pole at His back.
I know He loved you,
but I wonder if
this love,
swelling like the incensed moth of my lungs,
is just a coincidence.
If the Christ had not been the
root of Jesse, but cast His sacramental claret
down the steps of Tenochtitlan instead,
would I still love you?

The psalmic pulse between the products of your plumb lines,
the clarion adhan to which your zenith dons its flame –
this is no vicarious adoration.
I have found your Wailing Wall
winding in the wormy burrows of my veins,
something more precious than blood resounding
under my skin.
My heart has been sandblasted and gilt
by your beauty, Jerusalem, your beauty,
merely revealed to me
by a cross like two arms showing me
how to embrace you.

The day your star dipped six of its tips
in Gaza’s flotilla-filled bleeding,
I shakingly held to your soil,
my hands for once unsure
within these HaShem-promised granules.
When you grew toothy boundaries
like the plates themselves danced under you,
I refreshed myself on the shadows spilled
from your mosque and cross-shaped decorum.
I knew, not far from where I stood,
that fingers and desperation were turning
anything graspable into armament,
two parties hoping to excise pieces like tumors
from this, your mosaic glory,
but this! Jerusalem!
If only they could see

the sun, a saffron corona at the back of
your Sepulcher, setting a t-imprinted gaze
on your blazing Temple Mount –
and this, the cool pool of shade
overlapping your sands in tranquility,

this mutual shadow, a testament
in gold and half-hour henna,
pleading peace, then lost
to the haze of gunpowder-nightfall.

Shema, Yisrael...


  1. I’ve been a follower on your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation

    1. Thank you for following me and giving me your time. I appreciate your invitation.

  2. All I can say is this is incredible writing. I would like to see you branch out into other areas of life to add body and weight to your creative expression. God has given you this world to tell of his creation through the gifting he has given you. Do not bury your talent, but bring to him a return on his gifting imparted to you. I dare say, with utmost certainty, there is no sin in that.

    1. Thank you very much, Emmett. I appreciate your encouragement. As far as branching out, do you have any suggestions? I am trying to find ways to make it down to the Slam to begin sharing in the community, actively. That notion (of bringing God the return on this investment) has always been paramount in everything I do, and I definitely want to do all I can to glorify God and spread His light in my writing. So, any recommendations, any directions you feel would be beneficial for me to pursue, do please let me know. Any and all advice is welcome. Thank you again for investing your time in me, also. It is appreciated.