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    • Stacey Robinson

    • December 3, 2015 in Bloggers

    Havdallah with a Gun

    There is a ritual in the Jewish tradition, performed in the very narrow space that separates the holiness of Shabbat from the ordinariness of the rest of the week. The short service recognizes this sacred distinction through blessings over wine and spice and the flame of a candle. I used this service, called Havdallah, as the foundation of my poem, “Havdallah with a Gun.”

    In praise of blood —
    a pulse beat furrow
    hat runs royal blue to garnet,
    to brown and black, but for the
    space of a breath,
    it is rich and sweet
    and runs like wine,
    like water, like life
    in its pulse beat furrows,
    until it pools in the cracks
    and fissures of pavement —
    rubble now, rent, once
    a playground
    a building,
    the brick and bones
    of commerce
    or worship
    or home.

    In praise of the scent of
    oil and steel, the plastic
    and ozone stench
    that I imagine,
    like musk
    and spice
    that catches, in a draft
    on the wind
    and carries with it —
    singing and sharp —
    the corruption of death.

    In praise of a spark
    that singular moment
    of explosion, contained
    in that flash,
    that spreads like
    light, that brings no warmth,
    and nothingness follows in its wake
    and it offers a psalm
    of metal striking metal
    that swallows sound
    a single flameless spark
    disappearing into the
    weighted scent of oil
    and blood.

    A benediction, a
    prayer, for a
    life, for a
    death, for
    a gun.

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