My Name Is

Ribono Shel Olom
What do you want from me?
The sky is as calm as ever
Segmented by powerlines
And layered by clouds.
My prayers rattle back to me
Like nuts and bolts
In a tin cookie box.
I’m tired of wearing
Such short lengths of rope.
You only cut them long enough
To fit round my waist
While cutting into my flesh;
Pulling, stretching, bending,
I somehow make the ends meet.
It keeps me coming to You.
Sometimes I come at You
And we are a mess
Of hair pulling and name calling,
Tumbling into the nettle patch beside the road.
Then I get tired
And we lie on the ground together,
Tears tracing the route
Of the scratches on my face.
I won’t look at You;
I swear I won’t look at You.
And then I do.
Your face-segmented, layered, deep-
Ribono Shel Olom,
What do you want from me?

(c) 2008 M.J. Gallagher