Avinu Malkeinu: Petition for New Loyalities

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avinu malkeinu
lo/low
named and nameless name
avinu malkeinu
who has looked away
avinu malkeinu
who does not answer
avinu malkeinu
who gives charitably
but without justice
not once in kind
avinu malkeinu
who did not
will not
and
cannot save us
avinu malkeinu
who is no father ours or mine
your name is as thin as paper
your word as flimsy as a sand-sculpted king
you would have me borne to your land and call it the tide
i would have myself born the stretch of oceans
and in the distance
new words crashing
far from the toll of
ancient timber
or rhyme
avinu malkeinu
here
a new song
here
a new day
here
a new time
here
a new name that calls out to me
beyond your grave
mouthing triumphantly
the unutterable name!
that we all know
and feel
and still do not say
but not so today
or ever
but especially not today
avinu malkeinu
today
trembling
we say
my name is love
by our name
may we heed
all the orphaned names
and may we part our hearts
and our lips
with new ones
new names
we draw forth from the unswum waters
a salty sweet plurality
to which we and only we can
lay claim
avinu malkeinu
name of our g-d
g-d of our names.

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