Taharah

 

She reminded us that for three

thousand years we washed the dead

and wound the ties that bound,

knotted them toward the heart-

Made the shin and tasted our salt.

 

You cannot imagine the weight of the dead.

How they hang in the air like lilac or fear-

One, two three- slipknot.

 

Taharah

Taharah

Taharah

 

Three steel pails to cleanse my heart

Scorch her death mask into my synapses

Bury the moment where her passing hung on her face

Like a starched shirt

Part and move the ocean that separates me from conviction and grace

Taharah

Taharah

Taharah

Woman who bore my father and gave him light.

Woman whose DNA is woven into my face and voice.

Child of the wild hearts- Vaudeville

and sound.

 

There is a place in the bowels of the bone house

where the tile walls, yellow and shining

turn their faces to the women who wash.

The egg is broken and earth of Yisra’el placed upon you.

 

Tachrichim

Tallitot

The Chevra Kadisha would not serve you as today you feed the flames,.

 

Hamakom yenacheim etchem betoch shaar avelei tziyon v’yerushalayim-