We’re all into wealth porn these days Trapped in our rectangular handheld closets The schefflera snuffles skyward My son is afraid of a cartoon frog Still I’m pleasured by the linen curtains I bought last year at goodwill Cut in half and hung to filter the sun Their blue stitching reminds me of a tallit Each morning I stare at them instead of praying I apologized to my children today It was the best I could do I felt something crack open inside me Heart valve, hipbones The great poet said you have to have a reason To disturb the silence but I disagree I think that’s what it is to be alive To disturb the silence until very slowly We learn to hear it
New Moon Practice
Cutting rosehips in half And removing the itchy seeds Drying the orange husks for tea Saving some for winter, some for the friend Whose yard provided the rosehips We sat beside while we talked Of variants and risk tolerance I am sad for my children about this world Worse, they have it better than most AlI I can bear right now is a French rock star In my ears because I don't understand What's around me or inside me Is anyone here listening? Did we all buy the same cake decorating kit And forget to use it? I love that new clothes smell Even if it’s toxic And I’ve decided it’s time to tell People when they hurt my feelings I had no idea that was a possibility I mean I literally had no idea so instead I pulled the shoots out by the roots And pedaled to the turquoise chamber I ascended and fell, ascended and fell I wrapped myself in hexagons of loneliness And wrote across fabric-covered pages “I’m so depressed” I literally have no idea about anything except dinner We have to imagine everyone is contagious now An odd kind of love but love all the same Bright gevurah-curtains of light Of earplugs, condoms, masks, boundaries Look out, I wrote a long time ago Before I knew of the great unnameable spaces Each night I take a ritual shower Curtains cover most of the walls We built the tabernacle together It was so holy it turned into a curse I’m ready for cronehood Let me just take off my baby blue sweatpants And put on my brown ones Ready for sticks and leaves in my hair Ready to forget that loss is supposed to hurt Ready to forget how to put kids On a school bus forget to be scared Of mold baby I’m ready to melt into a puddle Beyond good and bad are you ready too Or do I have to go alone?
Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician, performer, and Torah teacher. Her work includes Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah with accompanying curriculum; the independent feature film, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff; and two award-winning poetry collections, Divinity School and Fruit Geode. Her book about early parenthood through the lens of Jewish texts and traditions, Even God Had Bad Parenting Days, will be published by Behrman House in fall 2022. Visit her at www.aliciajo.com.