Neviah / Prophetess

Don’t misapprehend
history’s dismissal
to be a legitimate reflection
of your alleged invalidity.

This suppression is systemic,
intended to implant you
with self-doubt
and worse.

Tell them you’ve come
to get your drum back.

They’ve rehearsed this
for centuries.

They shamed you for your
revelations as a child,

been training you to doubt
your intuition
since the beginning.

It’s a matter of tuning in
to the right frequency,

cleaning your receiver,
respecting the sensitivity
of your equipment.

Tell them you’ve come
to get your drum back.

It’s a matter of the gratitude
that knocks you to your knees,
the bravery that looks demons
in the mirror
in the face,
the real sacrifice—
the blood and guts kind—

every destiny
exacts its own heavy price
until you are nothing
but dying.

It’s a matter of acknowledging
the well sprung up and
wandering with you
through the wilderness
like a faithful familiar,
mandrake and fennel-flower
issuing forth from the earth
in a ground-corona around it.

It’s a matter of quieting,
of listening to everything
until you are still enough to
let the bush of jasmine croon
its swoon perfume all over you.

It’s a matter of knowing
you don’t deserve it.

Could you have been made
any other way?
Creature that you are?
Have you not prayed and prayed
to be made vessel?

Then be—not surprised, but still amazed
when fluid revelations channel through you;
are granted safe passage.

You remember, it is a rush-warm
whisper-itch of a kiss
that has to be scratched—
or kissed back—
just between your ear and your jaw,
until everything in you becomes the
longing to part

your own lips
your own sea of reeds.

And when
your heart explodes into
one million phantom dancer spirits,
you let the prophecy pour out.

You tell them you’ve come
to get your drum back.

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Poem #10 in the Priestess Path Cycle / Kohenet Netivot Sidrah.

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With thanks to Rav Kohanot Jill Hammer and Taya Ma for The Hebrew Priestess.

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Photo: “Batucada do Leste (Drummers of the East)” by Carnaval.com Studios