Banishment and WeWriWa

When did fall arrive? Life has been insane with a new job, so this story has been on the backburner.  But here we are at WeWriWa! You must write either 8 sentences for prose or 150 word limit for poetry. Lots of great writers participate. You can check em out via ze button above.

For those who are new, I am continuing my story about Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert. For understanding the backstory, go here. For previous installments: Part onePart two, Part threePart fourPart five, Part six and Part seven.  

In the morning, Abram came to my tent. Though he forbade me to follow the camp, his eyes couldn’t meet mine. I let him go without a word: there was nothing left to say.

That day, I gathered water and food, enough to last a few days. Though shocked, I hoped we could get back to Beersheba.

Days later, here we are, no city or well in sight. All I have to offer my son is freedom and my two hands. So I raise them up and offer him this last gift.

tbc

I know, mean author, but more to come soon!  Thoughts, feedback, are always appreciated 🙂

 

Français : Agar et Ismaël dans le désert (1820...

Français : Agar et Ismaël dans le désert (1820) de François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869). Musées royaux des beaux-Arts de Belgique, Bruxelles (Belgique) Nederlands: Agar en Ismaël in de woestijn (1820) door François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869). Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België, Brussel (België) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advertisements

The Beginning of the End

Happy Monday! I hope you are all having a lovely day. I enjoyed a fabulous weekend, including a small wine and cheese get together with some awesome friends. Good food and conversation is always a good time.

Today is the last installment of The Unruly Rib have to say I’m really happy with how it came out.  Part 1 can be found here and part two is here. Feedback and thoughts are always welcomed.

The Unruly Rib

No warnings today

IV.

Expelled to the harsh wild earth was the first time I felt at home. The tall jagged mountains piercing the skyline, the wind strong against my back. My lungs full for the first time, reassured by this wild open space.

“Eve? Are you even listening to me??” Adam yelled, jarring me from this new world.

I turn to him. He seemed so petty, so small. “What?”

“If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be –”

“Last time I checked you ate willingly.”

“And you were always sighing, always disgruntled, always dissatisfied. You couldn’t be happy with what we had.

“Yes!!” I screamed, “I was miserable and all you did was tell me I was crazy. You didn’t listen, you just tried to make it go away. Food, sleep, even sex. Eden bored me. So I took an opportunity. I made my choice, and I will live with it. Grow up and learn to live with yours.”

He looked at me disgusted, “We had everything. What more could you have wanted?”

“Freedom” I whispered, finally stumbling upon my truth.

“Enjoy it” he said bitterly, “Because we can’t go back.”

How much blame would I have to take for his actions?

“I started this.” I admitted, “I’ll accept that. You asked what it was. I was honest and open. You took the fruit from me and brought it to your own lips. You are the reason you are not Eden, not me, not the snake. You. I won’t stand her to carry the blame for all of your fucking actions.”

So I walked onward towards the jagged mountains. He didn’t follow. Lying under the stars, I found the word lonely, curved on my tongue like the sickle moon.

V.

Life in the wilderness was not easy. My feet ached from walking. My shoulders were sore from carrying the deer to eat and make my clothes. Still each bruise and ache reminded me of what I had achieved. I knew how small I was in the world. Yet I felt grounded from that same knowing.

Fruit tasted sweeter found on a rare bush. I learned that I love the taste of rabbit, but hate dove. My feet  followed the Tigris, and her flow southward. Tasting her cool water was a blessing after a long day’s walk.

The wild earth spoke to me. Through trial and error I made my own way. I held no dominion, no special status. Strength and wit earned me a place in the wild order of creation. Through survivaI found worthiness. With each day’s work my heart sung.

But the moon whispered complications. When once my blood came regularly with her full face, it now had stopped. My breasts became tender to touch. A new generation is coming the wind whispered. Life was beginning again. Not by God’s hand, but through me. Through Adam.

Adam who used to smile at me, as though I were the whole world. When he kissed me, I forgot that something still felt wrong. He was my other half.  I felt a raw and deep ache without him.

I couldn’t sleep now. I would lay awake, staring up at the stars. Though I was content with my labors, it wasn’t complete. Life made less sense alone.

Perhaps he would never want me again. So be it. But, he deserved this choice. To know his child and choose his future. And so did I.

So I rose with the sun, nervous but certain in my decision. I set my feet to follow the pull of my oldest rib. I prayed it would be enough to find him again.

VI.

“Eve?”

“Hello Adam”

Fin

 

Weekend Warriors Returns!

Hello!  I took a bit of a hiatus from Weekend Warriors, but I have returned 🙂 My Adam and Eve story will continue next week with the last installment.

You must write either 8 sentences or 150 word limit for poetry. Lots of great writers participate. You can check em out via ze button above.

For those who are new, I am continuing my story about Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert. For understanding the backstory, go here. For previous installments: Part onePart two, Part three and Part four

The memories of his short life came back to me. The first time he smiled, and I fell even more in love. The way his eyes widened in joy at riding a camel for the first time. Even when he was stubborn or sick, I couldn’t help but feel amazed at my son. Despite everything, I was blessed to be a part of creation, of such wondrous beginnings.

Fear crept in at the wondrous miracle of Sarai’s pregnancy. We all sang and danced for her joy, but I felt her eyes upon me. I had no words, only the cool dread in my blood, and my tightening gut.

 

Thoughts, feedback, always welcome! Also a self-portrait I did recently. I feel it echos Hagar’s self reflection through this piece

I love the vulnerability and obscurity in the light

Eden Continued…

Hey Y’all! Happy humpday. This is a continuation of my story about Adam & Eve’s expulsion from Eden. I think this format gave me the push needed: I am almost done with the story! Part 1 can be found here. Today I am posting parts 2 and 3. The rest should be out on Friday!  I hope you enjoy.

Warning: this contradicts much of Christian theology around the story of Adam and Eve.  As a Jew, I have always found the Christian idea of “Original Sin” troubling. This is in no way trying to criticize any other school of thought.  But this could be disturbing if you espouse those ideas strongly.

The Unruly Rib (Continued)

II.

I was born both too soon and too late. I became after the cusp of creation. I was the last one made. I ushered in the era of stagnation.

Day in and day out felt the same. The sun would rise and so would we. If hunger clawed at us, we would pick from the trees. The rivers were clean and cool, perfect to quench our thirst. Life was easy and smooth. Still, I felt something itched just under my skin. Enough to make my eyes seek the horizon.

“What is it?” He whispered one night as we lay beneath a blanket of stars.

I turned to him, “Do you ever feel like something is…missing?”

His eyes grew confused, “such as?”

Sighing, “I don’t know.”

He wrapped his arms around me, yawning, “just need sleep”

“Perhaps” I whispered, eyes wide open to the stars.

Dawn broke beautiful and bright as always. Adam woke with a smile. I felt my lips curve, but the smile missed my eyes.

III.

“What ailssss you Eeeve?”

“I… I don’t know.”

“Perhhhapsss a naap will help”

“I have slept enough, thank you serpent”

“You seeeem ssssso upssset, my dear.”

“What a wise observation. Adam just doesn’t understand. He says the same things as you. There’s no point in talking about this”

“Perhapsss wissssdom could help”

“What?”

“To find the ssssolution you need to underssssstand the problemmm.”

“God doesn’t answer when I call out.”

“You don’t need God to gain thisssss. But it comesss with a prissssse.”

“What is it?”

“Jusssst one bite.”

Thanks for reading! Thoughts, comments and constructive criticism always appreciated 🙂

Space and Scripts

Hello! You would think only working part time would mean I am free as a bird. LIES. Well, my grand parents were in town this weekend, so they kept me pretty busy. We got to go see the Air and Space Museum out by Dulles, VA. And I don’t really like planes: but it was awesome.

Image

My grandparents walking towards the Discovery. 

Today, however, I have a script for you! The muse kept going over the first line of this, so you gotta listen. So without further ado….

Today’s piece: Confessions

Author’s Note: I am not Catholic. I tried to make it as realistic as possible to what I think confession would be like from research online. Mature themes, but only PG-13. 

Woman: In the is name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was 2 years and 5 days ago

Priest: And the father said “this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”* Welcome back my child.

Woman: Father, I have entered into the holiest of unions under false pretense. I lied to him so I could steal from him. I used his love for me for the sake of my country. I was proud of my sin and power over him. I put faith in my nation over God. I fear I will never be forgiven.

Priest: All are forgiven by God if they repent.

Woman: But my husband? He…he is a good man, a faithful man. Will he forgive me? I have nightmares of his eyes so cold, his mouth a tight angry line. What will happen when I tell him that the woman he loves doesn’t exist?

Woman:  I choke on my lies now.  It’s harder and harder to pretend to be her. After everything I have taken, everything I have said, how can he love me? I will loose him. Worse, I fear for his soul, Father. The truth will make him bitter and angry. He may turn from the Lord. Heavenly father, forgive me, I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life.

Priest: Only God knows what your husband will do. His sins are between him and God. You must have faith in God, my child. You cannot change the past, but you can change the present. Do one whole rosary, and reflect on the mercy of God. Tell your husband the truth. Hold fast to God and he will be with you.

Priest: God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Woman: Amen

Woman leaves confessional booth and goes outside. Pulls out a photo of her and her husband as she speaks into the phone.

Woman: Hi honey, what time are you coming home tonight? I was going to make dinner. (deep breathe) there’s something I need to tell you.

Camera cuts back into the church. Priest is stepping out of the booth. It is the same man in the photo. He goes into an office and pulls out a cellphone

Priest: Mark? Yeah, it’s me. It’s time to bring her in.

*Priest quotes Luke 15:32

Sunburn and a Short Story

Hello! I hope y’all are having a great Monday. I’m currently on vacation (yes you should be jealous)…and already sunburned (yes you can laugh at me). Image

yep this is my view. No lie, it’s pretty awesome. 

So all this time has gotten me a moment to finish a story!

Warning: more mythology, angst, and references to eating children (Greek mythology, not my twisted head ok?). So… PG-13 ish. 

Watching Heaven and Earth

“Atlas…one who knows the depths of the whole sea, and keeps the tall pillars who hold heaven and earth asunder”. – Homer

My legs are weary of the water. It’s no longer cold, but constantly rushes around my legs, rising and sinking around my thighs. My toes have been frozen, long forgotten in dark depths that stretch back longer than memory. Occasionally I shift them, and feel the miles of sand tumble around them. I must move gently, my brothers and sisters lie somewhere in these depths. How cruel, the fates could be, letting my weary feet destroy my own family in the darkness.

My shoulders are tired, although the weight of the sky no longer bothers me. I don’t understand where humans thought I held up the earth. My mother is stronger than any of the other gods. She never needed cradling hands. My hands hold up the heavens. I was to separate embittered lovers, Gaia and Uranus. I was the guard between my own mother and father.

The millennia pass me yet memory stays sharp and clear. Mother once stared up at father each night, and day. Do you remember when he laid with you? Or do you recall the cries of your children, his children, yearning for freedom? Hidden deep in your depths, you could feel them but not touch them. Though once they screamed, only silence comes from the depths. Is that a relief? Or does worry grow like a pernicious weed?

Our conversations spanned decades but you never answered these questions. Now, even you mother, have gone silent.  Do you sleep now, or merely avoid the sky and memories?

The sky is light upon my hands. Uranus’s persistent desire left long ago. Father, why did you never ask for forgiveness? You once stared on at mother’s fertile beauty day after day, night after shining night. Yet you couldn’t see how your pit tore her apart. How could you not feel her helplessness or taste her rising rage? It rose slowly and surely, until only destruction was her choice.

Even still you begged forgiveness for centuries. My arms still ache from when you strained to reach her. Your every atom pressed against me, dying to caress her. Standing guard, you forced me to listen to your songs. Each painted a picture of time long gone: the moment you first saw her; the ways she sighed your name. Had she asked me to simply lie down, perhaps I would have. You sang of love, but she whispered of your venom and selfishness. So I stood, guarding the space between longing and rancor.

If I could have left you both, I would have. I would have long ago. Yet even the strongest gods lose hope. You are so light upon my arms now. Bits and pieces of you left, until one day I realized I forgot the feeling of pressure above me. As you gave up on her, you gave up on us and on our history. Now only thin air remains.

Where have you gone? Do you travel to other, newer lands? You search for lands where time has only begun and stories remain unwritten. There you may be kinder, and keep your eyes wide open. You can rewrite history and say all the apologies too hard to make to Gaia. There you find a second chance. May you find what you seek father, but do not forget.  

King of the heavens, ruler of air and flight, you traverse the universe. You may leave your errors behind. We, mere titans and gods, can reach up into the skies, but must always be rooted to our mother. We see our errors play out. . 

I don’t wish to be young again. We were foolish then. The world was ours and the days full. We controlled the seas and sky. Our mother, ever generous, never left us wanting. The fruit was sweet, the water crisp and cool. We had everything, only the stars lay beyond our reach. With Uranus, newly defeated, nothing could hurt us.

Thus, we believed we would live forever, rule until time itself gave out. We only debated where we would next take our court and celebrate. Eden, those Christians would call it. Perhaps it was. I call it my childhood.

The fates are capricious ladies. They always had the sharpest and most bitter humors. I blame sharing one eye between three. Yet still they had such sight. We were more than our mother’s children, we were our father’s as well.

And so, when all could be lost, we clung even tighter, ensuring our own downfall. Young and strong, we laughed at the one eyed crones. Our own children would not destroy us! Though Cronus laughed loudest, I saw the fear take root inside him. His eyes glittered hard and cold as the distant stars. With their prophesy, our fate was sealed.

Though he swallowed all of his children, Zeus came back full of lightening’s vengeance. For the first time we felt our knees bend, our faces flat against our mother. We learned the feeling of rage’s fire choking in our lungs, burning our insides while our mouths stayed firmly shut.

The last time I saw my brothers and sisters, I watched them tossed into the pit. Rhea’s hair fanned around her as she disappeared. Cronus’s bellows echoed. Yet the sound was so faint and small when it reached the surface.

I was ready to fall into the darkness, but Zeus held me back. My burden wasn’t to lie in the dark, but hold up the skies. I was to be the sign of his victory. He made me watch his rule. But time is gentle to no gods: Aphrodite’s beauty crumbled to dust; Ares back broke into pieces. Yet somehow, I remain. Why? Who am I witness to now?

I fear I will exist as long as time does. The fates cackle haunts me. Only they know my end (or have they too perished with time?). I thank the three crones for leaving me ignorant of my fate. Whatever choice I make has already been decided. Yet this moment is mine.

My arms descend, slowly, painfully. Though I hold my breath, the heavens stay above. Slowly, I begin to walk, rising from the ocean depths. Green warm land lies in front of me. Mother, I will lie in your embrace at last. Eons of fatigue consume me. As I close my eyes, I see only darkness. Wherever I go next, may it be with my brothers and sisters. May my questions meet more than silence. 

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hello! I hope y’all are having an awesome Wednesday. I celebrated my birthday, enjoying the out pour of love from friends and family (and food. lots of awesome food). I also wanted to give something back, and so here it is! Another story based on the bible.  Here’s my story of Jonah and the Whale. Warning: it’s angsty.

The Devil of Nineveh

Rating: PG-13 for vague mention of sex

I.

Are they dreams or nightmares? Your voice calls to me from the depths. It demands of me harsh truth, the thickness of ice, and the rage of fire. I cannot, no, no, don’t make me watch. How can I do this? Me, so small, so weak. Surely there are better men. Men that can pour your voice forth. Men carved from the stone. I am merely water. Ask another, any other.

Darkness fills the sky when I wake. The sweat still clings to me, the voice echoes in my head.  Nineveh awaits. The God who brought Pharaoh to his knees, crumbled the walls of mighty Jericho, must speak. Cleansing fire is coming to burn proud Nineveh, pure water to sweep away her pitiful ashes. Only repentance will save her.

Must it be Nineveh? Surely a city, another one would do. Yet you chose me for Nineveh. One that still has a piece of me? All knowing one, you have seen my dreams carry me there each night. All seeing one, you know what binds me to her. The man I left behind there.

Lord on high, how can I stand above them in judgment? How can I, in front of him? Why shall they listen to me? No, no there must be another. One who is grander, larger, a better man.  One clean as the Jordan river. Surely he exists.

No, I can’t go. I won’t go to Nineveh. Your dreams beckon for me to cross the sand but I still control my own two legs. I choose the sea.

II.

The waters rage through the night. High and dark, laced with lightening and frenzy. I hear your murmurs under the wind. Is there no rest from your gaze?  Why do you follow me across the seas? How many must die so you may have me? I am not strong enough for this mission, not worth their lives.

You cursed me with this mission. A prophet anointed is merely a man marked apart. The world senses your hand. Even these sailors, roughened by wind and sea, fear me. I have become the omen of bad luck.  Surely there is a place beyond you? Beyond this destiny?

I can bear it no longer. Toss me over, I beg of them. This is my debt, and I will pay it. I cannot carry their lives on top of mine. Let the waters take me, and I will join the dead. There must be peace for the dead at the ocean floor.

Alas,even death recoils from me. Only the whale, your faithful servant,  will take me. You open her mouth generously wide, and cradle me in her belly.

III.

I never asked for your dreams. I saw the life of prophets. Dreams, once a place full of wonder, become tired and frayed. Other worldly light clings to your vessels. Do you not see how you warp them? Even the strongest glass will break. It is too much you ask of them. It corrodes the soul into lightening or dust. I wish to remain simple clay.

Still, you have always whispered as I slept. Stories from the future would fill my mind, and pure golden light would glow about me in the morning. My mother wasn’t Hannah. She would never offer me to You. No, your light scared her. Every morning her eyes would widen and she would insist I clean my face, removing the slightly unearthly glow.

Prophets aren’t people, merely conduits, “blessed” to be used until you tire of them. Or the people grow weary of their words and send them to the grave. Their lives are words.

Your messengers are righteous and upstanding men and women. Their souls filled with your strength and vision. But Lord, you have looked into my soul: I am not pure.  You know whom I have loved, and lusted after.  I craved what I couldn’t have, shouldn’t have had.  Yet I took him.  And even now, deep in the darkness, I love him.

Still, you ask me to stand and condemn this city? To claim that I, Jonah, am your pure vessel? I can’t. I am broken and flawed. I cannot carry your words. They won’t stand up in the harsh light of Nineveh.

So tell me, why would I go willingly? How do you demand this journey of me?

IV.

Here in the dark I remember. I miss him, my Elah, the man I had who was never mine. His muscular torso and arms would cradle me through the darkness. The way he’d wake me, kissing my mouth, blessing my body (blissfully, blasphemously) with his mouth.

The last night, he woke me with a smile full of mischief. “I wonder if this is what it’s like” he murmured as his hands mapped my body.

“What?” I gasped, full of desire.

“Knowing an angel” His smirk widened as he filled me.

“I am no angel” I groaned, and bit his shoulder.

He moaned, and whispered in my ear, “You glow my love. My lovely beacon, I could find you even in Sheol’s darkness.”

“Then hide me in your darkness, and none will find us.” And for that moment, he did.

He rose with the morning light to fulfill his duties: a life filled with wives and children, duty and prosperity. I could not wish him well. I fled to Nazareth, finding solace in old familiarity. I could not share my love with his wives. I was too weak to stay and love only in the night.

Now you demand my return. How can I face him? How can I judge his life? You all knowing, all seeing Lord on high know my darkest truth: I love what I cannot have.  Love, his love, brought me to my knees. One word from him would bring there again, if he would be mine. Though the moon waxes and wanes, I can’t forget him. Even in the deepest depths, my heart remains his.

With such truth, how could I stand above them? Surely there’s another who could carry your banner. I will break under this truth.  Why do you go to such ends so I may live while you doom Nineveh, my Elah, to perish?

V.

Deep in the living belly, I have no break from darkness. Even my sleep is full of night. The lord of the heavens doesn’t visit me here.

Is this my relief? I begged freedom from you, and here it is, deep in the depths air, dank and salty. Another must carry your message. A blessed curse, this ending, I have no more dreams, no more light. I pray Elah forgets me, survives me, and that the world moves on. Yet why do you keep me alive?

There are no answers here. No relief that I seek in this living jail. Nineveh and Elah consume my mind. So I submit, and so I sing:

Oh Lord here in Sheol

I beg your mercy

Spread your compassion

Over me, this lonely broken

Man, lift me so I may praise

You and give thanks again in

Jerusalem, your golden crown

And I will be your servant forever.

VI.

Nineveh, a city full of life and death. So wide, it takes three days for a healthy man to cross, and all are doomed? Abraham was able to barter for the righteous few. But we know I am no Abraham.

I enter her gates, walk through the outer streets. The merchants crowd the avenues with spices, food and goods. Animals and humans jostle to make their way. The stench of life compacted fills the air.

Another city, like all the others. But it is strange here.

The people talk animatedly, yet avoid their companions eyes.

They dance but shows not joy, only delirium.

A place so full of life, yet more dead than the desert. I don’t understand it. There’s something wrong here.  So wrong I can’t name it, only smell it, putrid and off, lingering in the air. Is it my place to know? I bring no remedy, only a message.

The sun begins to descend. I stop at this open square. Stay, you tell me. So I close my eyes and listen:

“People of Nineveh, the Lord Adonai, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob speaks. The God who brought down Pharaoh’s mighty army, crushed Jericho’s walls into dust warns your city. In 40 days Nineveh shall fall…”

I don’t know the rest. The words were never mine, though heard in my voice. I remember the people’s eyes holding mine. The fear and awe full on their faces. I was no longer Jonah. I was the messenger of Adonai’s destruction.

VII.

For three days I stood there. God shone through me. The people came and went. Laughter turned to whispers and gathered into wailing lamentations. Clothes were tossed aside, sack clothes and ashes filled the streets.

I neither ate nor drank for three days. Just a silent witness to Nineveh’s reflection.  They asked me for the answers I didn’t have, that Adonai refused to answer. I can’t forget their eyes, full of need. They begged me for redemption I couldn’t give. I wished to give them reassurance. They too were in a living jail, in open air. The distance to the heavens still stretches beyond man’s grasp. I don’t have the keys to free them.

By the third day the king came to me, to hear, me, the infamous prophet. He came asking for salvation, to protect his city and crown.  Though in humble attire, his entourage was full of advisors, all eager to listen.  Elah stood amongst them, his eyes burning me, with recognition and shock. The lord spoke on, telling them to change their ways.

They began to leave, but Elah lingered. “Why do you do this Jonah?” He hissed at me. “To spite me? Did you forget? You left me, vanishing in the night. “

“A city of thousands stands before the reckoning.” Adonai said, “Go home and look to your house. For you stand not before man but God.” Though Elah stood beside me, I couldn’t touch him. Though he could hear my voice, I couldn’t speak.  There was so much to tell him, my fear, my need, my love, and my duty. But I stood on, watching these events unfurl around me, and through me.

“Coward” he hissed, and went after his king. And I watched his back, tall and proud, disappear for the last time.

Goodbye Elah. I hope one day you may forgive me.

VIII.

After all of this Nineveh shall stand? In my sleep, heavy after three long days, you tell me their fortune. How I may leave after this declaration. Three days of moaning and wailing and the city is saved? Why did you bring me through such trials if this, your known generosity, would save them?

Elah’s blessed life shall continue. Will he think me just a spurned lover, leaving in disgrace? If so, he will despise me now. I have lost him forever. And my fate? I will be the cursed prophet, the voice of God’s judgment. Even if you spurn me now Adonai, my fate is sealed.  Let me go onwards from this life. I have done my duty.

Surely redemption requires more than their wailing. So I sit waiting for Nineveh’s destruction. Let me fall with them. I can’t carry my past, or theirs anymore. My work is done.  Let the world forget this city, and forget my face.  In death, will I remember Nineveh’s despair? I could never forget Elah’s fury. I wonder if Elah could forget my sorrow.

IX.

The days pass and Nineveh still rises from the valley. Yet this plant, my only companion, is gone. The shelter crumbles under your intense gaze. I am a stubborn mule, kill me, and let me go. Instead your intense gaze falls upon me, your harsh breath whips against my face. Do you find pleasure in this?

Ahh yes, you spare a city for the children. Elah must have some now. Will they have his hazel eyes? I never found another pair as beautiful. My lover’s children will only know me as the prophet. Their father’s momentary headache.

They will see Elah day and night. They will know how he will age, know what he looks like in the light. Yet once, I knew him, memorized his body and laugh. I knew him in the darkness. The way he gasped like a winter wind. His skin’s scent of sandalwood and rosemary. Will our secrets dissolve with our deaths? Or do all secrets live on in you? Do you carry them forever?

How long will you protect the children Adonai? Do they hold guilt at the first stone they throw or the thirtieth? We both know my guilt. Yet you let me remain. Is that forgiveness? Or is this life, carrying your message, my penance? We are marked, Nineveh and I. Yet only you, all seeing one, know what that mark truly means.