pearls

Elisheva Fox

            "a woman of valor, who can find?”

 

on friday night, he used to sing to me.

 

i stared at the braided bread

and the candlesticks and

my folded fingers and

wondered why i could not

stuff my heart with white linen

to feel full.

 

he doesn’t sing anymore, he doesn’t

have time for that, because it has

nothing to do with

bones.

 

instead he brings home

grocery store daisies, swooning

in their green plastic dress,

and tosses them on the counter

for me

to clip and tame and curate -

 

i’m good at that,

at silent flower arrangement,

because my heart is

overgrown with violets

and that’s why

he never fit.

 

            “a woman of valor, who can find?”

 

i found you.

 

we found each other.

 

we lived together and

chanted prayers

for and with our friends, every friday,

and then afterward

we would stumble home giggling

to turn on a recording of our

favorite metal band,

and then we would sink into the couch,

together,

laughing a garland of rainbows.

 

i am so sorry i was colorblind,

then.

 

there we were—

and then we weren’t.

 

like one of your pomegranates

we cracked apart, bleeding

sweet,

and we circled our husbands

under separate

wedding canopies.

 

when i light candles now,

in the quiet after my children

are soothed to sleep,

i wonder

if you still knead

honey and salt into your challah,

if you still like wine that smells

like cherries and turns your lips purple,

 

if we could have circled each other

if i had known.

Elisheva Fox’s poetry has appeared in Berru—a publication by the Jewish
Book Council—Dark Moon Lilith Magazine, and Allegory Ridge's poetry
anthology, Aurora. She braids her late-blooming queerness, Texan
sensibilities, motherhood, and faith into poetry. Some of her other pieces
can be found on Instagram @elisheva.fox