Songs From the Diaspora is a weekly poetry blog featuring poetry inspired by the Torah portion, Haftorah or other text, and sometimes simply just the world around me. This week, Parashat Ekev was my source material, and I was focused on writing about listening, turning away from listening, and  the idea and experience of possession.

Ekev

Lashes knit

The leaflets of my chest

strike open

like ears to the rushing sound

Each day a new taste

beneath my fingertips

as they trace crisp print

Only this, Only this, Only how

to break ourselves of the habit

of forgetting ourselves of

the trickery of ourselves

the molten worst —

Watery ash lining the pit

How much we prefer to see than to listen

Only this. Only this.

The valves swoosh open

At a bend

Rain clatters my hair like sheaves

mixing the earth about me

cooling to a fine clay

On the bones of this new thing,

Possession

Rising its knobbed spine

milk veined

The land a sweet burst of fruit on the tongue

a quick wide filling

Before the heart contracts