A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
It is a bright dance club, lit by violet strobe lights.
With improbable expertise,
young rabbis prance to the blaring
pop music under a billion
spinning mirrors balls.
“Nu,” they take turns asking me, “why don’t you try
and dance a little?”
But I won’t do it, having always despised
dancing. My soul is far
too heavy for my body
to ever be light.
Music groans louder. Bass rumbles
the entire world. Strobe lights
shatter into yellow and purple petals,
falling into beards of the rabbis.
Unfazed, they shake, twist, flip, try
even harder to pull me inside
their jittering circles. They tell me it is okay to dance
to this music as we all should
be very modern religious Jews
who need to bust the most modern moves.
The frenetic music seems hard for anyone
to resist—but I can’t move to it.
My rigid soul has never found its way
down to my feet.
Some rabbis break by the bar to drink large
herring schmaltz cocktails,
filled with plenty of ice and sliced onions.
At center of their dance circles, one woman
dancer appears, then another, and another,
each one clothed in
leathery tightness of our day.
All rabbis blush and rush out of the club,
throwing up their black hats
as if they just graduated.
Copyright 2019 Baruch November. From Bar Mitzvah Dreams published by Main Street Rag.