Mourning, Noon and Night

Today I fast
the long slow yearning
of my soul for sustenance
that cry of emptiness
for what is missing
what is lost
what I loved to taste
and taste no longer

Today I fast
to remember
those walks in Jerusalem
long conversations
with rabbis and prophets
about God and religion
practice and personhood
those words and wonders
the valley of the dry bones
Gideon and Solomon
Delilah watching
as they sheered off his hair
the chains falling from his wrists
as his strength departed
and new chains fell upon each of us

Today I fast
to forget
my fortune for living today
for the safety of this country
when my homeland is under fire
when as he reads the names
of the murdered, the martyred
I feel tears filling my eyes
I lived in Hod HaSharon
was this soldier
one of the school girls I saw?
I watched the Maccabiah
in Ra’anana
was this soldier
in the stands beside me?
Here I do not wait for the sounds
of mortars and missiles
I listen idly to my iPhone
my headphones blocking the sounds
a luxury surely foreign
for the ever-listening ears
in those walls of Jerusalem
once paved with rubies and emeralds
plated in gold
adorned with Cherubim
guarded by the presence of God
gathered in a burning cloud

God lives not in these clouds
only death burns among the ashes
bodies burnt and children blistered
when will it end?

Today I fast
to remember
to forget
I hold my breath
for the dead
for the living

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