/ /

……………Tower bells beat the door
of the sky and so call those who hear
the toll of marriage or mourning or time
passing, before the bronze goes still.
Today I hear all those calls at once,
leaning from the chamber—a rapture
that bears, I know, a given message,
though I like to think the music has its own.
So too its own cloud swept through
the parapet, where the temple scaffolds
rise and fall over the face and stones
of a great design, the one I never see.
I, a mongrel, married a Jew, my table
crowned in candles whose light and honey
smokes the air, and they are not mine,
these dispensations echoed at the altar,
not mine, the music of my home,
though it marries me to the silence after.
Call me a follower then, a mute observer,
a bit of stone against the larger burden.
I married a battered child, the girl
in her broken by a stranger again
and again like a wave inside a shell.
Whenever I hear bells, I think of this,
unable to say what needs to be said
or hear the broken silence when it speaks.
Nights I am awakened by her breathing,
and still I dream. Still her heart beats
its bronze against a sky I cannot enter.
And when she moans, I shake her gently.
It’s okay, I answer. That’s all it takes.
A stage whisper, and she mumbles, thank you,
love you, without opening her eyes.