The sacrifice was 
Never 
About forgiveness 
The sacrifice was 
A place marker
A sign that one had 
Turned
The sacrifice did not 
Cleanse one's soul 
The sacrifice did not 
Lift one up
The sacrifice was 
Merely to clean 
We each gave 
Something 
Something we valued 
And 
Using its blood 
We cleansed 
The sanctuary 
We purified 
The altar.

Why?
If we have turned
If we have changed
What more is there to do?
Why send out
A goat
Burdened
Freighted
With sins 
Already discarded?
Left behind
Shells of seeds
Already bursting forth
Growning anew
In
Towards
The light.
Shells whose sparks
Already
Fly free?

Why clean 
With blood?
How strange to us
For whom
Blood is
The worst stain.
Yet
What 
What had besmirched
The altar
The sanctuary?

Don't you see?
It is all one
There is 
No 
Separation
There is 
No
Other
When I 
Fall
Creation
Skins its knee
When I 
Become twisted
Reality
Goes askew

It was at the
Altar
We could
Cleanse
Set right
Make whole
With the blood
Of our most precious thing
Blood was life
Our livestock
Was 
Our lives
Dessert shepherds
Pastoral folk.

What do we do 
Now?
We live
Mostly
In cities
Divorced from
Land
Growing grain
Livestock
Bleats of sheep
Lowing of cattle
Life
Sometimes
Life itself
Alienated
Even from 
THE HOLY

Yet when we
Stumble
The world
Wrenches its
Back
When we are
Dark
Darkness ripples out
We injure the 
Oneness that
Is

How shall
I
Sacrifice
How can
I sacrifice
The altar is 
Shattered
The tent
So much
Dust
Scattered
Scattered and gone
The Holy Houses 
That followed
Rubble
Made rubble
In smoke
And
Fire
Stained
Not cleansed
By the blood
Of
Priests
Levite's
The people of
The covenant,
Though poor partners
Bled out on 
The Temples' stones
Taken away for
Houses
Roads
Baths
Theaters
Latrines

The results of my
Sin
Like the feathers 
In the gossip's pillow
Gone
Gone
Long fled
Scattered as
Filth
Around the world

How shall
I
Sacrifice
How can
I sacrifice

Today
We value
Ourselves
Our time
Our
Precious time

This shall be
My sacrifice
The world is
Now
The altar
All space
Is now
The sanctuary

Come,
Here is my act
Of kindness
Here 
Is my blow 
For justice
Take my time
Let my service
Scrub clean 
The stinking 
Echoes
Of my 
Wickedness
By error
Or
Intention


It is not enough
To turn
From sin
To change 
Myself
For
I am never
Only
Myself
I am 
Entwined
With
All

Bit
By
Bit
We shall strive
To repair a broken world
Stained also
By our own error
This
This is our 
Sacrifice
Cleansing
Purification

Come
Let us go to the Temple together
There shall we serve 
THE ONE WHO IS

And what shall I bring?
We have been told 
what 
Is good
Do justice
Act kindly
Walk modestly with G-D

Photo Credit

Comment