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"East"

there's one room in my Big Office Building that has the word "East" on its wall


there's one room, that makes the bold claim that origins matter that Not Every Direction is the Same that ancestors matter and the Divine deserves our reverence


on the door of that room, is a sign that says "Prayer" and on the door of that room, there is a lock


I don't vibe with the confluence of those two things


so I leave it open as mincha flows past my lips towards Brooklyn on a Wednesday afternoon


~~~


halfway through ashrei, there's a click, and the door opens


I stutter, because for the first time, my love of God is bare in this otherwise-soulless migdal


I say "Is it okay if I pray?"


and he says: "Of course.


You do you, and I'll do me."


And he takes off his shoes And he swivels with his knees on the carpet toward the wall that says "East"


And soon, from memory, our two mouths are weaving Allahu and Baruch with Allah and Adonai


And as his head turns, my shoulders shukhle, as his cadence rises, mine harmonizes in a fall,


and our devotion flows towards the Source of the Rising Sun


~~~


before my Amidah is over, his prayer has finished


and we part without a goodbye


we return to desks, to laptops, to the unliving screen


but blessedly, now, with scripture, like stardust, glittering on our lips

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