We Learn To Be Human

Alicia Jo Rabins


From our current Faith issue. 

For you Portlanders (or those with private jets who fly around the country for literary events), Alicia will be reading this Thursday at our Holocene party



I attended the online seminar on shame

it helped for a minute

more importantly I’ve been loving

the goddess for a long time and these

hiccups in my groin are a sign

she’ll be there when it’s time

it could be next week it could be

a month you started as a seed

and now in a white t shirt

you go to bed I’ll meet you

when I’m done we learn to go to bed

to put on eyeliner we learn to be human

when we don’t get what we want

you too started as a seed my son and now

I feel your fingers curling against my

center from the inside

like a fern dear son I want every flower

you ever plant to blossom

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Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, composer, performer and Torah teacher. Her poetry book, DIVINITY SCHOOL, won the 2015 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. Alicia tours internationally with her band, Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about the complicated lives of Biblical women. A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, her one-woman chamber-rock opera, was named one of Portland’s best theatre performances of 2014 by the Willamette Week. Alicia lives in Portland with her husband and their two small children