Tu B’Av Bullerengue

…Y si el dueño pregunta, hay la verdolaga
Dile que yo te mande, hay la verdolaga
   Sonia Bazanta Vides, “La Verdolaga”

We daughters of Shiloh
waltz into the vineyard
clad in borrowed garments
built of brilliant blue-white
stardust and time,
purified in the ways
of the ancients,
plunged in the ritual bath.

We are rebuilding with each twirl,
we dissolve separation,
we bless each vine
with prayers of abundance,
each step presses  grapes
to transmutation,
claret splash-stains spreading
against our lily dresses.

We seven sisters
dig our own graves,
sleep in them for as many days,
awaken each morning
under the blazing desert sun,
until we finally
dance out of them
into full moonlight.

We priestesses
guard the stars’ secrets,
usher our days of mourning
into our moment of celebration,

praise what frays,
wrap wick-lengths
around the graves
of our ancestors,
dip them
in soul-candles
of beeswax.

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This is the breaking of the ax,
this is the end of destruction:

Know that
this restoration existed
before the shattering
ever began.


With thanks to Rabbi Jill Hammer for her teachings on Tisha B’Av and Tu B’Av and Juli Warner for her teachings on the bullerengue.


Photo: “Nordic Summer Moon” by Timmy Ljung