All the desert writhes with prayer and conversation,
but the settlements grow fast and unrelenting, beacons of their
cause. On this day we read from Lamentations, asking how to
divvy up the traumas that befell us: memories of temples crumbling to
earth, the Spanish people who excised us like a malignant boil, the
final lion that was
god retreating from the maelstrom. Settling now in the mire,
Hebrew signs bid welcome to the visitors,
invitations to join the mourners.
Jews divide and conquer, hoping to
kindle a post-exile fire that purifies without destruction.
Leather is discarded for the day, and they sit on low stools while
mayhem reigns in the streets, protests for all sides,
negotiations flailing like arms wild with gestures.
Our houses were given to aliens the refrain, a
postscript of emotion tacked onto original text, some calling
quiet and desperate, others defiant, staking out, screaming.
Right of passage seems to have no history outside the present.
She dwells among the nations, but she has found no rest.
There is no rest for us, sad diaspora, the misguided,
understanding only that this is a people, there has been suffering. The
volume drops to a whisper now, and we
wait for the next movement, the algebra of heritage and belief expressing itself, the
x to fill an unsolvable equation. The widowed city begs for relief while
yet another stone is cast and no one sees.
Zion spreadeth forth her hands; there is none to comfort her.