Psalm 11:16

for Nasia

You are making me now,
Right now, the clay of me
Warm in your hands,

The hands of me warmed
By your hands that shape them, shape a heart
That’s never beaten, been beaten,

Skin that shivers in secret places,
Places that will never be touched
Except by the maker

Hunched patiently over
The stupidity of matter,
Leaving your mark between my eyes, my hips,

In the clay turning slowly in your hands,
Blinking a little in your light
As I learn to forget

The tenderness you reveal
In the act of making, to confuse
The feeling of your fingers

Moving inside me
With smaller, less luminous fingers
That will never reach as deep, whose love

Will never make me
Something that can think, can suffer,
As your love, finger by finger,

Is making me now.

"The clay of me, Warm in your hands"

The web versions of our print articles are now hosted by Duke University Press, Tikkun’s publisher. Click here to read an HTML version of the article or to download the PDF version.

Tikkun 2017 Volume 32, Number 4:55

Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, is the author of a memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, and seven books of poetry, including Coming to Life, Psalms, and the forthcoming Impersonation.
tags: Poetry, Poetry & Fiction, Spiritual Progressive Analysis   
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