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shabbes tamed me

shabbes didn't come to me like a queen this week she came like a wall

she came like a thick slab of mud, or a defensive line-backer

like a man whose job it is to simply be big and in-the-way

shabbat didn't come to me like a lover this week, she came like a barricade

a thing beautiful in its practicality, not in its aesthetic

a highway median with no foliage,

just enough concrete to do its job

shabbat was: "Lights out!"

and mommy's hand flipping the switch off with no discussion, closing the door

it was: "you can weasel your way

you can weasel your way out of your body and presence

with a thousand upon thousand excuses

for 6 days

"you can shrink in to your 9x15 glass pane of a world for so many hours

"you can take your breath for granted,

you can numb yourself for safety

you can fall back into your habits,

confuse your worth with your work

"you can run for these-many-days

from yourself

but when you run into me

there is no further you can go."

shabbat came like those fake tunnels painted into a wall in a cartoon

and i didn't welcome her in

i submitted to her strength

because god made her not just

for wine and flames and family song, but

for the same reason she raised the cliffsides against the tides

or pressed the void of space against our sky


at some moment, we just cannot go on

and she knows that if she didn't stop us,


we'd try

and this week I tried

and I learned that shabbes

doesn't come dressed in robes

she comes in work boots

and I felt her grab my shoulders, press me down, hush me quiet

soft my gaze, shut my screen, quiet my mind

and slow my breath

i felt her love me

by not moving

an inch

shabbes tamed me, this week

with the tactile elegance of a bunker or a brick

i crumbled at her weight

collapsed in pure exhaustion

so grateful

just to wrap my arms around those mud-coated boots

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