Songs From the Diaspora is a poetry blog inspired by the weekly Torah portion or other timely Jewish texts and sources. This week Parashat Ki Teitzei was my source of inspiration and I was particularly interested in the idea of observing what we speak and do fully, as well as the promises that we may make during prayer.

Ki Teitzei

What we have pledged
in the hours
when the clock
draws
sleepy
spirals
cross our faces
and panopticon of our minds
sees us stark
the haggled deal raw in our throats
as we check the messages again
and then again, in the daylight
waiting for the vise on our chests to lift,
the knife that prods our necks in the dark to be re-sheathed

And so,
in the bright of an answered day, we forget ourselves
The echo of that desperate scrambling,
like a rabbit from a hawk
-each breath a leap-
echoes hollow in the lumens our ears

But, in the turquoise light of our digital clocks-
our words fell like coins-
clattering around us
Though we’d not imagined their weight,
only hoped for it