A Poem for Yom Kippur


Stains, sins, impurities,
He searches for a liturgy with deep scrubbing action,
All-purpose cleaner,
Not for use on delicates.

But everything is delicate,
A broken zipper over the heart exposes
a balled-up handkerchief soiled with blood, tears, feces, gin spilled from the flask his mother kept in her denim purse after the great unraveling.
Memory plays tricks,
But residue retains the stench of it all.

You’d think that the smell would go away as the years stretch on,
the fir trees grow tall as the house, the old neighborhood is gentrified,
but smell is eternal, of God.

Waters of purification, divine bleach,
Flow for me tonight,
Wash over me,
Cleanse me,
Heal me,

I want to tingle again.
I want a fresh scent.
I want to believe in something other than my own cynicism.
I want to feel the radiating spirit of static cling between me and all sentient beings.