If I were standing there with you
In the physical sense
I wouldn’t speak a word
I would sit in the dirt
I would cry in that inside silent way
I would leave the spigot onto tears
I would sit there and make the holiest prayer of the heart.
I would offer it up.
I would not speak to a single news person
I would wear a big Bucharan kipah* on my head
Indicating humility in the presence of G*d
And respect respect respect.
I would wrap myself in an oversize talit with the proper fringes.**
I would clutch the fringes to my heart-line.
I would repeat the name of your beautiful church
Like a mantra of grief for the lives lost there
And the lives found there:
G*d is among us
G*d is among us —
I would say it and say it
Until I believed it
Until I felt it,
Then I would say it to the persons
Sitting next to me
On the right side
On the left side
Just that one complex word
I would say it until I felt it the way
Isaiah used it
With confidence and trust —
*Jewish headdress, colorful, large