Vigil

The opposite of me once said,

Who would want to go into that room

where someone, especially someone I love,

lays dying? Send someone else instead,

someone who cannot feel. The best healers

are those without empathy, those who cannot see

who will not feel 

the pain.

But I rush into those rooms

headlong and headstrong

to sing to the dying songs of love and joy

to put rainbows in their dreams and paradise in their sight

to connect them to the truth

of the universe’s faithful love even

through transition beyond. 

We must be opposites, because I live

where you cannot bear to stand.

Shana, No Y

When I feel lost, spiraling down
spinning madly like a camera
dropped from a 10,000 foot precipice
I can hold on to this –

I am Shana, no Y.

Know why? It’s the name
my mother whispered in my ear
a cooing sound to tell me
I’m more beautiful to her
than the starlight streaming
into our beds, that first night
of life, in her arms.

I am Shana, no Y.

Shana, or Sarai, or Sarah, after
the first mother of the Jewish people.
I am a mother, first, even if
later than most. Protecting
my young, my people,
matriarch of my world.

I am Shana, no Y.

I am what I am,
In God’s image, female spirit
embodied in the most female of forms
exaggerated breasts and hips and
round backside arching, aching
you embrace me because you, male,
can’t resist melding into me.

I am Shana, no Y.

And still evolving, perfect in
every misshapen moment
every seeming stumble
every award and ascent.
Who am I? No other answer
but this –

I am Shana, no Y.

Time to Dream

Slip into a state of the other
where sunshine flows through
your silken hair and sky-bound prisms
mirror the spectrum of colors caught
in your iridescent eyes and
you speak softly of my beauty
of our power to pull forth
from our fertile soil new life
a far off dream, a so close fear
that you might love me
that you still dream of me
that you long to worship me
slip between worlds into my temple
and find your true self.

Toothpaste and Tobacco

In the dark, lying face-to-face
the most intimate moment
of vulnerability, of openness, and
I smell, I taste the faint
hint of toothpaste, minty memory
hovering over the merest whiff
of tobacco, the remnant of your last
solitary walk outside for the night.
I drink them in, my bedtime aperitif,
dizzy and falling into your lingering mouth.