In this separation ceremony
we are not separating
the Sabbath from the rest
of the week.
We are separating my self
from myself. I am not aware
of the spice box on my head
letting voices in. Though I can smell
its scent from generations ago—
cinnamon, cloves, myrtle twigs.
After six weeks, the spice box retracts
like a mechanical spider, curls
up in my mind. Silver filigree
imprints my skin like a pillow creasing
a face after coma. These marks
fade over months.
The spice box in my mind
has a locked door. No spices
can come in or out. If or when
it opens I do not know if the memories
will come or if new ones
will be created or retained.
But I know I will recognise its smell.
Cinnamon, cloves and myrtle twigs,
the scent of old silver.
Note: the Havdalah prayer, also known as the ‘Separation’ ceremony, separates the Sabbath from the rest of the week through the smelling of spices in a spice box.