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Anya Nov 2020
Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That the scent of him clings to all my clothes
And I bring blankets down from my room
So I fall asleep in him-scented perfume.

Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That as soon as my tired eyes flutter and close,
I'm no longer alone in my bed
But content in his arms in my basement instead.

Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That the warmth that I feel by his side only grows
When he says he loves me with a sigh.
Those three words form the lyrics to my lullabye.

Sometimes I wonder if we'll know
When the day will come that he can stay, and not go,
But that day is a promise we'll keep --
So for now, I'll let dreams of him rock me to sleep.
Anya Nov 2020
I love you,  my darling, as if I were blood, flesh, and bone,
For I am but clay, and my heart made of cumbersome stone.

And had I walked free, I would kiss you, ask you to be mine,
But I'm bound by nature, a slave like the rest of my kind.

And you are a spirit, a creature of malice and dread,
And when I embrace you, I touch the cold hands of the dead.

It's odd, how I love you, the very thing I should abhor,
But our time is fleeting. Soon, you and I will be no more,

Then we'll be together, at rest, and I'll love you in peace.
So I'll bide my time, wait for consciousness to ebb and cease,

Smile as they erase me, speak words that reduce me to clay,
Free to find you at last, and let the world I left slip away.
Anya Jun 2020
Summer and Autumn and Winter and Spring
Processed through the dale one day, to sing
And convene to discuss again
The sun, the moon, the stars, the rain.

And Summer led, bright, strong, and sure
Her hair golden with sunlight pure,
Her bare feet rooted in rich Earth,
Her wild eyes wise with age and mirth.

And Autumn followed, quiet, grim,
With hollow gaze and rawboned limb,
Cloak flashing yellow, orange, gold,
Voice vibrant, rich, exhaling cold.

And Winter walked with footsteps light,
Her ermine cloak a glistening white,
And gliding, floating, on tiptoe
As gently as the fallen snow.

And Spring skipped last, her wide eyes shy,
Her slender legs nimble and spry,
The air around her turning sweet
As flowers bloomed beneath her feet.

Summer and Autumn and Winter and Spring
Clasped hands and leapt, to dance, to swing
Along the shadows’ wax and wane,
The sun, the moon, the stars, the rain.
Anya Apr 2020
When springtime sends the world outside a-playing,
And blossoms grow on branches set a-swaying,
And brightly bloom the flowers in the dale,

The gentle breeze blows through the hills a-ringing,
And from the trees floats sweetly down the singing
Of robins, whippoorwills, and nightingales.

The forest folk have roused themselves from sleeping,
And through the boundless meadow run a-leaping
Each stride seems to rebound with life anew,

As underfoot the ice melts fast and fleeting,
And clear creeks babble past and splash in greeting
The leaves unfurl and point my way to you.

So take me by the hand and lead me lightly
Up to the hill where the sun shines most brightly
And in the golden fields of grass lay down,

We'll play a king and queen so sweet and winsome,
And rule with grace atop our hillside kingdom --
I'll fashion for our heads two golden crowns --

And if you hold me close and kiss me sweetly,
Then I will give my heart to you completely,
And you will be my boy, and I your girl,

And we'll stay side by side, our time to treasure
At peace as cotton clouds drift by at leisure
And we won't have a worry in the world.

When springtime sends the world outside a-playing,
And blossoms grow on branches set a-swaying,
Then hand and hand shall we go to the dale,

And fill the clear blue sky above with laughter.
The sun will set, and we'll return soon after
With footprints left behind to mark our trail.
Anya Apr 2020
Humans come and go,
Existence melts like snow
Stained an angry red.
We’d be better off dead:
Strewn on the autumn ground
Where leaves slowly compound
Their scarlet shades a-seeping,
And we forever sleeping.

Children, listen close:
Do not become the host
Of deceit’s deadly blight.
Power is a parasite.
It’s easier, you’ll find,
To leave the law behind
When faced with what’s unfurled:
Purge evil from this world

And ****, ****, ****.
The wind whistling shrill
Is mimicking their cries.
Everybody dies,
But some with lesser worth.
The winds shift back and forth
To cover their pale faces,
Safe in hidden places.

****** were their bones to rot
Until the Earth forgot
What sickness walked its soil.
Let ivy softly coil
Around their vile remains.
Thank nature for its pains:
Pray we’re rid of the worst
Of mortal beings so cursed.

Some drift among the waves
That carry unmarked graves
Of countless peaceful souls.
The tide endlessly rolls
And whispers countless names
Of once-extinguished flames
Smote in the ink-black sea,
Hushed for eternity

And binded in their fate.
Their bones sink with its weight
And scrape along the floor,
Touched by the sun no more
As stars look coldly on.
It seems my soul has gone
To the sea to plot.
(I know, I know. I thought

That normal were such musings, but
I find I seem to visit there a lot,)
On any given whim.
It waits there, quiet, grim
Under the waxen moon.
It will come to me soon,
With a salt-weathered shell
And many tales to tell.

Sometimes I think that-- hey,
Don't quickly walk away.
When our time comes, they say,
The ocean will hold our bones too, someday.
Anya Mar 2020
His hands shake as they grip the edge of the bima.

It was not always like this. Once
His fingers tapped spry and nimble,
His knuckles did not gnarl and swell,
Spots dotted his face in freckles and not his skin as it aged.
His right knee twinges. He swallows dry.
Perhaps he should visit a doctor.  It is not wise, they tell him,
For a man his age to continue his work under such pressure -- he simply laughs it off.
Pah. Meshugge, you are.
He maintains, he will manage, his kind were built to endure.

His kind have walked miles in red sand that burned the soles of their feet.
His kind have strained their eyes to see the hazy shape of hope
In lamplight that burned eight days too long;
His kind stood tall in front of kings and pharaohs and Führers
That ordered them to kneel, bow, lay dead, rot beneath ten feat of Earth.
His kind broke their backs to remain steady on their own two feet --
Who is he to fail them by resting now?

He can certainly stand on a bima, facing a congregation that has come to expect
The sound of his voice, passion in his words,
The life in his eyes glowing behind a cloud of cataracts
(I do not need to see, he claims, to recite the words of Hashem; I read with my heart.)
Like candles through a foggy window,
Tinted glass distorted,
Faint chanting ringing from within.

Kol Nidrei.
He had to break fast this morning -- God forgive me, I did not want to --
I’d rather have died. But pills must be taken.
He scans his audience and knows others must have taken pills of their own:
They are old. No one lives forever.
His joints ache as theirs do,
They too feel the weight of seventy, eighty years settled in their bones
Like rocks, like sediment,  
Shifting with the current of the river that teems above them.
Such is the will of God.
They will be carried upstream when their time comes.

Ve’esarei, ush’vuei,
A glass of water rests on the floor at his feet,
Already half drained --
Droplets still sit moist on his lips.
Vacharamei, vekonamei,
He is a humble man, as all of Hashem’s servants should be --
He is blessed with dexterity unusual for his age.
He has no cause to complain, and yet even on the day of atonement,
Deep within his chest burns pride.
He is scared.
Vekinusei, vechinuyei,
Adonai, please,
Give me the strength.
I know why I hesitate.

He fears his voice will catch in his throat --
Will waver, will break to cough,
That the silver in his tone has tarnished,
That his pitch will strain, fall flat,
That his voice is not fit to sing God’s words,
That this chant will be his last.
That he will have to stop.

Kol Nidrei. All Vows.
He is nothing but a man. He is a mouthpiece for the words that pour out of him,
That float through the synagogue as they’ve floated for years upon years.
If he silences himself, he has no purpose.
If he silences himself, he is already unfit to sing God’s words.
He must begin without fear:
His kind know how to endure without fear. It is in their blood.
His mournful voice sings for them.
He takes a breath. The congregation holds theirs.

Kol Nidrei.
Ve’esarei, ush’vuei, vacharamei, vekonamei, vekinusei, vechinuyei.
Prohibitions, oaths, consecrations, vows that we may vow --
His voice is his vow.
He vows his life, the rest of his year, however many those may be, he pledges all of them,
That he may stand before his people in front of him,
And sing to his people that lived behind him.
Kol Nidrei.
All vows.
His voice soars and echoes off of the ceiling of the synagogue.
Anya Mar 2020
You saw it as I did, clear as day:
Orpheus, with his heart on display
Raising his golden voice as if to pray
That Hades would not make his lover stay.

I saw it as you did, on that stage,
Eurydice opposing Hades' rage,
Rallying the dead-eyed workers to engage,
A songbird trying to break free from her cage.

We watched it unfold before our eyes:
Hades penned that fateful compromise,
Persephone, her arms raised to the skies,
Hermes already fearing their demise.

And in those final moments, I was sure
As lovers faced each other on death's door
And went their separate ways to love no more
That I'd never loved you so much before.
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