- It’s bloody knuckles and skinned knees, it’s heaven’s fever slicing through the black with open jaws. It’s finding a swarm of locusts dead on your back porch, stuck to the screen door and crushed into the wood slats. It’s curling into bed, into not-sleep, because in sleep comes the Dreams, and with the Dreams comes the People, and with the People comes the End. It’s red-rimmed eyes and violently fluttering fingers. It’s painting the rocks with your blood, Hashem hu ha’Elokim, Hashem hu ha’Elokim, Hashem hu ha’Elokim.
- When you were a child, you dreamed of meeting angel, all soft white halo and fluttering wings. The angels God sends to you in your dreams are nothing like this. They do not emanate a gentle glow and they do not have kindly blue eyes. They are knife-like wings and sharp directions, they lightning-strike fear into your heart, prophecy into your veins.
- You are named God’s vessel. God’s words are impaled in your ribs like a sword. His holiness rattles your bones.
Odelia Fried is a student, actor, and poet based in New York. Her written work can be seen in various literary magazines and her spoken word can be heard at UrbanWordNYC and at open mics across the city. She is interested in femininity, Judaism, and queer identity, and the intersections between the three.
Image credit: “Miriam” by Anslem Feuerbach, 1862
Read more from Cleaver Magazine’s Issue #13.