“Hineini” and “Lover Found/Lost (Renée)”

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash


i am neither the seed

      nor the fruit –

You water

me in the in


between love and

        the weeds

where i hide,

(supine and


i forgot my name

        when i fell from grace –

when i choked on fire,

and scorched

         the scabrous earth;

until under the ash a

         new name formed

spelled in hair

and bone:

            Hineini. –

i am here, Elohai,

          G-d of my ancestors

but my eyes transpose

the landscape;

            and i am lost –

the rutted road

            reads empty as

i search the near distance

astounded by ghosts,

            and my own limpid hands;

we are here and not here

            my mother, my father,

their daughter;

we must be in Gehinnom

            awaiting our trials –

if so, dismiss our missteps

            and restore us

not as before

but in numinous form

            for the world to come –

allow me safe passage

            to follow them home;

but if i cannot pass

extend me this moment

             in precious purgatory

to lay eyes once again upon

            all that was lost –

do not lift me from this place

to lay me down alone to goodbye,

            and goodbye and goodbye....

seal me instead in a beautiful lie

            where i can't see the end,

where i rise from the weeds

and there are no ghosts

            and there are no ashes

and i remember my name

            the one they gave me

(the one You took with them) –

and i will wait – and i will wait

            for them to find me,

and ask where i've been hiding

            and how long it has been

and how i fell so far behind –

and i will answer only that i am here,

            waiting,  Hineini.

Lover Found/Lost (Renée)

I remember your

long white hair draping

my shoulders as each
held the other’s form

            our breath joined

how we tangoed

with time as we wove

the duple meter of

memory underfoot

            hot in the shivering air

the playground we

raised in our reverie

with ecstatic exploration

with howling mirth

            ephemeral in its end

the rising wave

of your approach and

fading pitch of your

receding reach

            a doppler dimming

the abundance in

your eyes and the bite

of my disappearance

when they closed to me

            after I had danced in them

and still I cannot parse truth

from illusion where our

shadows cast promise

before you swallowed the light

About the Author

Lisa Delan

Soprano Lisa Delan can be heard singing classical settings of a broad range of poetry on the concert stage and recordings for the Pentatone label. Her own poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, Drunk Monkeys, Eunoia Review, Lone Mountain Literary Society, Mill Valley Literary Review, Poets Choice, The Pointed Circle, Tangled Locks, Treehouse Literary Review, Viewless Wings, Wild Roof Journal, and Wingless Dreamer. She has been nominated for a 2023 Pushcart Prize.