A piece of paper, court of law,
and you were bound to us.
Isaac, bound by ignorance,
gathered kindling in the bush. You
stand stiff, a cement wall,
a shrieking lion
tattooed on your arm. When
Isaac asked, Abraham
lied. You say
you trust no one.
ii. unto the next generation: esau
Tricked by a brother, betrayed
by a mother. Like Esau, you rage at
the loss of your birthright. Your
brothers, sisters, all torn
from you. Merciless,
these tests, merciless,
your welcome to this cold cold world.
You bring strangers to our table, pale girls, cheeks
imprinted with the fists of their fathers,
what uses the gods make of children.
Some say Isaac required no binding, laid himself
on the altar, bared his neck to his father’s blade.
What binds us one to another? When you are ill,
you cry for me; mostly, you
shut your door. What
You steal what you can—
money, your father’s
watch, it’s always time
to pay you back.
Isaac didn’t choose his sacrifice.
Abraham didn’t choose.
Born to the wrong woman, Ishmael,
according to Torah, was cast out into the wilderness, but
there are other books. The woman
who birthed you
Hagar, helpless, turned away
when Ishmael was cast out,
did he not hunger for his brother?
Do I not bathe your fevered cheek?
You are just strangers I grew up with.
Each of us, the blade, both
our necks, bare
to ruthless winds.