My Song of Songs


My Song of Songs

by Zena David

I lived in the illusion that G-d
was catching my breath
and breathing me Home
in open invitation to meet Him
through the playing of my games,
the singing of His prayers, until

G-d of gods, the Trickster,
yanked away the veils
I didn’t know I climbed on,
dropping me into
the life-stink of evil:

An evil that stakes out its territory,
breathing its air into my bedroom,
yanking me alert,
shutting my eyes,
opening a hasty invitation
for G-d to return:

My fingers pressed
his face, holding him back,
scratched down the skin beneath his eyes;


I pleaded for You to sound Your voice
over screams choking
inside my throat;

“Where are You?
My body can’t wait for You.”

He’s going to hurt me;
he wants my surrender.
What do You want for me?

What do You want?

I want to live,
and I do,
dropping my prayers like a shawl
as he forces me
to make room in my body
for his life,
not Yours.
He comes.

Where were You?
G-d, are You?
Are you G-d?
G-d, are You G-d?
Are You?

Whose is the silence that answers?

I blackmail my body into silence,
chanting illusions:
“All right, all right; all of me is all right.”

But I am a shard,
an atom smashed,
a remnant―
friends and ex-husband in shock,
police in responsibility,
doctors in sympathy
rush to reconstruct,
to piece together with bandages of logic,
to stitch up the throat to swallow the speech.
My vision diminished by confusion and fear,
I am left unremembered.

I annihilate G-d, now Beloved Enemy
Impotent Betrayer
Absent Deceiver
Remover of Trust
Decimator of Love

I deny Him access,
breathe as little as possible.

Jacob was left alone and a man wrestled with him until
the break of dawn.

And she, too, was left alone,
And a man wrestled with her, too, until
almost the break of dawn.

He wanted her surrender, not her bruises.

Jacob refused to let go until he was blessed.
The angel could not prevail because Jacob cleaved
to G-d and the angel begged to be freed.

And in the end, he asked,
“What’s a nice girl like you doing living alone?”

Jacob became Israel for he had “striven with the Divine
and with man and had overcome.”

“What’s a nice girl like you doing living alone?”
G-d, are You listening?
Was it an angel who wrestled with her?
Why for Jacob and not for her?
She, like the angel, begged to be freed;
She, like Jacob, was in need of Your blessing.

“G-d of our forefathers,
G-d, who remembered Jacob,
G-d, remember me.”

The Silence that answers says, “Remember Me.”

“Remember Me,” We plead and demand,
Both in need of blessing. Both in need of each Other.

Your breath remembered and returned to me
heals the soiled
and spoiled ground of the scared
‘Till I become sacred.

No part of this poem may be used without permission from the writer.


Brief Bio

Zena is a retired classroom teacher, a profession she has served with great distinction. Several years ago she wrote a play that was a three-part response by the community, the artist, and herself to a sculpture by Ed Massey called “Morality/Mortality”, a three-part sculpture that displayed the aftermath of a sexual assault.