Deep in the valley of memory on the altar of Ares we sacrifice them, always young each generation we are Abraham unrestrained, the pardon always moments late. We are Olmecs, relying not on the sun’s passage but on a mainspring tightly wound. Our gods hunger and must be sated lest we lose favor and their image change.
In our boneyard priests and victims slowly decompose fade into earth washed deep by tears of Gods powerless to intervene.
First published in The Peninsula Review, Vol. 5, (1998)
You sneaked away one night. You were there, but while sleep claimed me, you were gone without notice or warning. Where should I look for you? In these barren hills where the spirits of the first nations roam, looking for their ancestral land?
Where should I look for you? Wandering these verdant fields where a hundred generations have been sacrificed to the will of power mad men who know no satisfaction?
Where should I look for you? In these filth ridden streets and narrow alleys where the rats scamper in search of a meal, where a child at play would be a fine repast?
Where should I look for you? Across these wind blown sands where brother has hunted brother for three generations, each laying God’s claim to the birthright of the other while wives and mothers wail in mourning?
First published in The Right to Depart, Plainview Press (2008)
The question, of course, is which is Frankenstein, which his monster a chicken and egg problem that invites debate, denies solution. They say, of course, it is you – We sent you Lafayette, never assuming quelle catastrophe would grow from our gift. Freedom doesn’t make you a God but somehow you never learned that too busy writing rules for the rest of us to ignore. Quite to the contrary, we say, we sacrifice mightily to redeem you, buried our own dreams to build a foundation for yours, twice, and you repay us not with the gratitude we so deeply deserve from you, but with derision, and that, only if you are feeling beneficent. You are the epitome of arrogance we each say and we know that it is the glue that binds us.
My father never walked me up a hill, never asked two servants to wait below, never bid me be strong, never asked me to have faith in the Lord, never raised the blade only to see a ram in a thicket. My father never did any of these things and so I have no special birthright to pass to my sons for God has moved on to more important matters.
Akeda first appeared in European Judaism (U.K.), Vol. 33. (2000). Reprinted in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 29, No. 1 (2005)