Forty – you counted them and kept them;
seven times did you cease work and worshiped toward the mountain, Salvation, from bondage.
You adored Him out of fear and admiration, you were bound by the canopy that covered you – and you strayed.
His servant finds his work becoming harder, toiling,
I am becoming heavy:
I had floated so as he descended,
but each layer that brought us closer to the scene sent my letters soaring upward,
the lightness of my form taking the stone-cold stare of each statute broken:
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six:
In one fell swoop you broke all of these, O Israel!
How you have fallen – you’ve taken gold not your own and cast it in an idol,
you wanted a messenger in the medium of the land you were taken out of;
Aaron – you lay the blame on others and sullied all their names, still took the mantle and made scapegoats ever after – was it fear, Aaron?
After the first poor soul that confronted them?
Did you create diversions to save your skin or theirs?
Their skin undulates in their dirty adorations, writhing with each other before their false god,
and the heaviness that rests with me is a mix of lost letters and resignation:
O Israel! You, the lowest generation raised to the highest,
even you strayed, branding all that would come to pass – five –
look how they come to honor their father and mother,
with blasphemies and doubts in devotion.
Four – look, the day creeps upon you and you have forgotten it,
your toils in gold and sacrifice sully that holy day and Its’ Declaration, You heard this, Israel, out the Mouth of our Maker,
still you raise up this false god in an odd concoction of defiance and devotion – three –
scrawled in the calf’s base is One’s Name,
giving it autonomy for your vain magic show, Israel, you should have known better,
that Name Brought you out of bondage and Scrawled in my stone.
Can you still hear the reverberations? Two –
you have spat in Its Face, – two – forty years race out forward for four more generations for your iniquity, – two –
Israel prostrating before that graven image – two –
unto like the earth and heaven above, -two –
look how Jealous your Lover is, Israel, a bride in an affair on the honeymoon, – two –
your fearing one bondage for the form of another,
you cast your own yoke and bonded yourself, – two –
staring your Husband in the face and put someone else before Him.
One – there is only one letter left on my body, it clings, pining for the sanctity that would have risen them up, “Listen Israel, The Lord is your God, The Lord is One,” One second, one more moment.
Moses has stood aghast,
cradling me to his breast,
trying to avert my gaze from this scene of corruption, to spare me, to save them,
could my early/late arrival bring repentance?
And he buckles, between the weight of their monumental mistake, of my stony bearing demanding retribution, I slip from his fingers, two tablets tumbling toward their sins, useless as commandments, but stones to break their god.