we are like a child’s toy to you
first you break us
now you are telling us
your hurt will abate
your cruelty will abate
if we pay attention to you
we see you are so lonely
you cry to us
and all you ask is our words
so we carry them with us, these days
easier to travel with than calves
but how will we know where to turn
to find the Eternal—
in the terminal
for the domestic or international flight,
in the nest entrusted with the sea
turtle’s eggs—and which words, anyway,
have a scent more pleasant
that that of a calf, or, for that matter, a dove
to soften you if we do
discover the direction of eternity?
A cowboy Jew with sheepskin blanket and calfskin gloves
stared at the broken arrow pointing to Eternity,
Texas and sighed the relentless ancestral sigh.
This was no sign of hope, let alone forgiveness
but there was iniquity a-plenty and a saddle burr.
He checked the horizon for the faint stampede
of his thousand departing calves: no dust, no sound–
then graciously received his own aloneness, lost
as he was & offered a quick prayer through parched lips
that the rattlesnake heard and the cactus knew.
Give me back the moon and clean it up and clean the darkness
Give me the prayer and the place and the story
and I will be able to forget even the story of Catastrophe
Our storyteller goes far but one stays at home and hopes
Give me the melody that is freshly of old fresh old-new
Give me a place to learn why the Song is in the center and will be
Keep me anointing others with oil and David means beloved
Sacrifice neither the first born nor the calf of words: let children cry
Let there be no double or doubtful corpse, let Boaz sleep with Ruth the stranger
May the last lines shine in the seams of a new song
The whole world is that bridge a ridge a ledge an edge do not be afraid Naomi.
The requirement for blessing a beautiful mountain black gold analogous
May be close to the blessing for a beautiful human, we dream we wake
like the hidden gold thread of the woman city they fight over like Michal yourself
Give yourself to me, Dear God, as stone to grass. I fight you for the mothers and the children
Give me the ladder and the broken ladder and the ladder without rungs I want to fight you.
I dare you to wrestle me.