by Lori Negridge Allen
I might have thought—The odors of the dead are now my odors. My good sisters prepared my corpse as custom bids, but this dread foulness persists. Or—What a mystery is time. How many handbreadths make a day? How many omers a shekel? How to measure what cannot be held? So the mind weaves tales from crumbs. What I do remember is neither mitzvah to bless nor sin to confess, not my ancestors’ welcome, not being alone with oil of myrrh… not even darkness. When I heard you cry, “Take away the stone,” I was a pillar of salt, my hands and feet bound, my brain a dry sponge, my face wrapped in cloth, my heart a winged creature cocooned between worlds like a prayer between words. “Lazarus, come out!” You called. Whatever it is you’ll have of me now, I bow, my Lord, I bow.
Lori Negridge Allen recently moved from a house overlooking a stream flowing into a small lake to a condo overlooking a river flowing into a sound. Most days find her walking the beach, wondering at tides.