Ps. 139: To The One Who Knows
Alicia Jo Rabins is an award-winning writer, musician, performer and Torah teacher and the author of two poetry books, Divinity School (American Poetry Review) and Fruit Geode (Augury Books). Music/performance projects include Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah, and the forthcoming independent feature film, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff.
To The One Who Knows
After Psalm 139
What is it to be known?
Known, all of me: the one hundred-
Thousand-mile map of my veins,
Prayers I will whisper in a hospital
Room in twenty years, distant strip-mall
Corners where my teenaged past-self hid
Behind arborvitae to smoke on a hot day.
The wedding canopy, the birthing
Bed, ruby silences of my mother’s
Womb: so high I could go, and so low,
And always, You there to meet me.
What is it to be known? All
My failings, blemishes, wounds.
So many times I turned
Away because I could not turn
Towards. So many times threw
My whole self at those who wanted
Only a sugary taste. So many times
Succumbed to fear. But you know
All that. You try me, test me, all
So you can know me: such
Love, my Love. I don’t believe
In heaven, but there You are. Don’t
Believe in hell, but You are there.
What is it to be known?
The genetic engineer knows
Her rose's shape before
It blooms, the architect
Knows his skyscraper before
First concrete pours,
The showrunner knows
Her main character’s still-
Unwritten future; so You know
My imagination, my mitochondria, my
Liver, kidneys, fingernail trimmings,
Which words I always misspell,
Dreams I forget before awakening, lost
Eddies of Tuesdays afternoons, how I paint
Myself over the undulating graph paper
Of time. Too intimate to describe,
But let me try: I am vine, You the tree
I climb. I am tree, You the sky, light
And earth. I am sky, light, and earth,
You the solar system which holds
Us. I am solar system, You my
Infinite red edge. In knowing,
We are known: I, an infinite red
Edge; You, the One writing these words.
more from IFYC
The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.