Wardrobe choice

I can imagine Shabbat standing in her walk-in closet this afternoon. She probably pulled out the rainbow mini-dress first, the one with every color imaginable splashed across it, like an iridescent—and very fashionable—Jackson Pollock canvas stitched into a shape that hugged all her curves.

And then the basic, backless midnight-blue sheath, made from silk woven from the first dreams of bedtime. A simple and elegant, admiring “wow” of a dress, as opposed to the eye-catching, elaborate painted extravaganza.

In the end she put on the colorful one, along with striped tights and clunky, candy-colored bangles, peacock feathers in her hair and makeup straight from the eighties. Don’t get me wrong; she pulled it off marvelously. Still, I do wish she had worn the simpler dress tonight.

Or, alternately, just something from the lingerie drawer.



Shabbat is in my kitchen late Friday afternoon, standing beside the fruit bowl and examining a dark, round pomegranate. “What is this?” he asks.

So I tell him that the pomegranate is one of the seven species, that its profile was stitched on the hems of the high priests’ robes. I mention that the rabbis claimed that it has 613 seeds inside, one for every commandment.

“Really?” Shabbat tries to smell the odorless fruit. Then he perks up and presses his nails through the thick outer skin, splitting it down the middle. He looks carefully inside, as though counting every seed, and then he shrugs and hands me half. With cherry-stained fingers, he pulls out a clump of seeds and stuffs it in his mouth like a greedy child. “You forgot to mention that they’re tangy and sweet… and crunchy,” he reproaches me, his mouth still full.


Macaroni necklace

It was a macaroni necklace day. A seat of your pants, I saw this thirty seconds ago in a shop window and it sorta reminded me of you, you shouldn’t have—no really, you shouldn’t have—sort of a day.

I should probably be embarrassed. I made tea sandwiches for the queen of the week and left the crusts on. I nodded off in the corner and slept through the entire grand fanfare, trumpets and all.

But Shabbat didn’t say anything. In fact, I may have just dreamed it, but I’d swear she pulled her foot out of her diamond-studded heel at one point to show me the run in her stocking, one toe poking out, before she tucked her foot back in her shoe and let a boisterous gang of children lead her onto the dance floor.


Exact timing

I wanted to know the precise moment when Shabbat came. I wanted to see the shift, from week to –end, work to rest. They told me that Shabbat came with the sunset, was born in shadows, and so I sat and waited on a high peak. Behind me, the sinking sun. Before me, the stretching shadows.

And as the blush turned to gray and the shadows grew quiet, the wind laughed. “You could have called me. I was waiting, and you could have saved yourself some time.”

“I didn’t see you come in,” I whispered, sorry that I had failed.

“You must have blinked,” the wind replied, blowing past me and into Shabbat.


Flower bride

Stitch lavender into your hems, my dear, the purple buds like the first dark corners of evening, the smell of comfort and treasures lovingly, safely packed away.
Weave anemones through the fringes of your gown. Mix dark and light in single broad flourishes.
Teach the sweet peas, with their smell of clean and open spaces, to grow along your train.
Tuck lilies of the valley into your hair my love, and clip gardenias around your ankles so that their rich, noble fragrance will follow your footsteps.
May you be sated with delicacies of candied pansies and roses, to bring deep red to your lips and pink to your cheeks, purple to color the irises of your eyes and palest white to your fingertips.
And meet me in the garden and nightfall, under the wisteria canopy.