Vast as the Stars and Sand

BY ELISHAMA SCHWARTZ


Some of us lounge with verdant backyards and homey porches
Others are squeezed by neighboring skyscrapers and smoke
But
Either way
sometime in winter,
I’ll be comforted by the beam of the candles from your windows.

Some of us say “good morning” and
Others do too, just in a different language so
I can’t understand them but
Either way
I get the message.

Some of us wear strings at our sides or skirts to our knees
And some of us wear undershirts and pants to feel free and
Some of us wear kippot,
while others lose them or
forget them at home because
They don’t want to add a bullseye to the target on their backs
To be tattooed on them, carved by the fabric clipped to their hairs
They don’t want everyone to stare and
Forget to care but
Either way
I can still hear your voice and
see your eyes and
feel your heart and
wipe your tears and
Dance with you until you’re sweating
So you throw your clothes in the wash anyway.

Some of us want to pray,
while others want to have prayed but
Either way
Your eyes are still tired
And your lips are still dry
so you still look up to the same sky as I do
Whether it be to find shapes in the clouds or find answers in them
or to wish you could fly
away
So
We’re not so different.

Some of us live across the street or
next door while
others live across the sea or along a different shore
where the skies are guarded by fire and roars and hate,
So you can’t see the clouds
making it hard to feel you but
Either way
you can see the stars that illuminate the path
traveled by the sand across the sea
that trekked all those miles to connect us so,
I’m with you.

And some stars are necessary to give direction and forge the way,
while others must shine just the right amount
Like the specs of sand whispering to the next,
urging onward, a chorus of resilience but
Either way
the stars and sand work together so that
I can still hear your voice and
see your eyes and
feel your heart and
wipe your tears and
dance with you until you’re sweating
Because if you look closer and you follow the path,
the stars and sand show us
We’re the same. 

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