A Poem About Feeling Violated on Tisha B’Av

I put into words some of what I was feeling today and this is what came out.

Tisha B’Av

I feel violated
The gates of my sanctuary have been torn asunder
I have been defiled
Unclean, wicked, haughty ones laugh at my humiliation and I am powerless
Helpless to resist
Weak, I am overrun and crushed
Mind broken
Self grasping for something
Finding nothing to hold onto
Endless darkness
Endless weeping
Living death
Heart of dust
Perpetual torment flays my skin
Maddended by pain unceasing

Unable to cry out
Wanting out
Wanting out
Wanting so bad to be out
To breathe
To remember the light
To remember the laughter
Look at me and see one who has been discarded from life
An empty husk with nothing but bitter wormwood
In my heart there is no hope
Yet I am still here
Witness to my own blight
My own suffering
Craving an end

In between the narrow place
Is a hair thin crack
Into a deeper world
Of yearning
Of faith
Of renewal
Beneath the husks of darkness
Is pure water
A jug of sacred oil
Ner tamid
Light in exile
Song of redemption
And the dry bones
Walk once again, enrobed in living flesh and blood
Taste and smell
Life and movement
And scars
Shining with the light of yesh m’ayin*.

* Yesh M’ayin means something out of nothing in Hebrew, it is associated with the idea that all of creation is in a constant state of renewal.

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