Sukkos Heartbreak

how does it feel to have your heart break in every possible direction, every time you approach that which you love

to be told to move

to get out

to quiet down

that you’re not permitted here

 

how does it feel to have your heart break because you’ve found what you love

you were born with it, even

it’s right in front of you

but when you reach out to touch it

your fingers are warmed

and still, someone whisks it away from you

 

how does it feel to have your heart break

because fences loom

and tall iron gates stand tall

in front of that which you love

 

how does it feel to see

others

caress, approach, gaze and bask in

that which your heart seeks

 

others, dismiss it, standing in its womb

aware of the shadows, blinded and oblivious to the light

unable to open their hands and embrace it

but standing in its midst

in the middle, pointing a finger

tell you that you can’t come in

it’s not time for you to enter

it probably never will be

the right time

 

how does it feel to have your heart break

every time you walk past

the fences and chains that keep you away

to see your sisters stand at arm’s length

joyfully stroking their metal chains

comparing tones of brass and steel

excited that it looks like

a pretty

fashion accessory

without noticing

the red marks that lay underneath

that glow at you like bright electronic phosphorescent markers

the light bringing up your own, pale scars

once faded, they show up in the light

reminding you of what was

what you want to be

what can never be

what others prefer to be

 

how does it feel to have your heart break in so many ways

every moment, every gesture, every word, every ritual

a sip of wine

a tug at a hem

a smirk and a laugh

an admonishing stare

a disapproving glance

a clueless comment

a finger pointed at a page number

a set of pursed lips emitting shhh

a closed curtain

a slap from a pair of wayward flying tzitzit, moving past you once again

a voice that gets louder and louder

trying to drown out your own voice

a laugh of condescension

a look of derision

a motion towards a body part

a hand raised towards a mouth

asking you to be silent

even as others

speak

sing

and pray

 

this is how a heart breaks

when a heart wants to pray

this is how a heart breaks

when a heart wants to love

this is how a heart breaks

when a heart wants to live

basking in the glory of the divine

the divine that is a container for so much more power

than can ever be imagined, it’s sublime

and even when the containers are no longer holding the light

and are broken and battered and bruised

there’s so much golden beauty in the shattered vessel

the Tupperware of the soul

that all it takes is to cling to a tiny part of it

hold on to it and refill it

but those who hold on to it keep the supplies under lock and key

the superglue and the duct tape

and every single shard

you can’t touch, you can’t taste

 

so you buy a potter’s wheel

and build and spin and create

the clay is freshly set

the kiln is heating

the vessels are moulding

the light is shining

she’s smiling, her face is so bright

she’s the light that she’s been shining into the night

and so happy to finally just be

at home in her own space, her place,

the shechinah comfort inn, grand exotic hotel

 

except next door

the shards

the brokenness

still there

others stand over them

trying to glue them together

each time you touch one

your fingers burn

tentacles sprout

dark scars form from bleeding blisters

get out of the warzone

pieces of metal, burning rubber

but you can’t get away

 

what’s here is

love

 

how does it feel for a heart to break

and the pieces stepped on, bit by bit

by others who say, your heart isn’t broken

look.

right here.

see?

it doesn’t hurt

you gotta get better, fitter, girl

stop letting it hurt so much

it is the way it is

let them be

no need to ask for more

this is the way

it was predetermined from the

day

 

NO, NO IT’S NOT

it’s not how it’s supposed to be

I want to be me

and so my family

 

how can we be

me

and we

broken

battered

from the old shards

we build the new pots

we don’t try to fix them to what they were

but they still break

every day they break

maybe they’re stronger now

with the magic balm

stronger than super glue

the love

I don’t know

I can’t feel it yet

just feel

broken

 

broken

broken

denied

unable to enter

 

I  used to look at the nightclubs on 11th avenue with the long velvet ropes and wonder what it took to get inside

but I never really felt like I was being denied

because it wasn’t my scene and I was more than happy to abide

by the fact that I wasn’t going to sit around tables and drink champagne with strange men

it felt okay, somehow

because it wasn’t my place that I should feel upset

to not be included

in it