A Thousandfold

rows of lit candles shining in the ddark
a beloved friend tells me
there are two times in a Jew’s life
and waiting for Shabbat
this week I left behind those blessed hours
and was immediately filled with hunger for the next
Lekha Dodi calling me, saying:
רַב לָךְ שבֶת בְּעֵמֶק הַבָּכָא
וְהוּא יַחֲמול עָלַיִךְ חֶמְלָה
for too long you have been dwelling in the valley of tears
I said Kaddish this week a thousandfold
Shloshim for my dear friend
Yahrzeit for my uncle, dead twenty years
Kaddish for the Palestinians I’ve never met
falling under bombs and buildings
a seemingly neverending Kaddish
for there has not been
a single day without death
since October seventh
and each life is a world
and each world has ended
and each ending calls me
to seven days of shuttered mirrors
and remembering
I say Kaddish a thousandfold
the valley of tears separating me
from the world I see and touch
in fathoms
in leagues
I breathe in
breathe out
and imagine her
a hand outstretched
my second soul within it
and ache to hold her again
לִקְרַאת שבָּת לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה
כִּי הִיא מְקור הַבְּרָכָה
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