Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ode to Rayati

Today is the feast day of St. Valentine, a priest in Rome who avoided going to war by secretly marrying a woman, and then shooting an arrow through her heart because he was in love with the apple on her head. At least, that’s the way I remember it.
Anyway, for all of you lovers out there, and all of you haters of this holiday as well, I offer this poem, in the style of the Song of Songs.

To Rayati (Hebrew, "My Darling")

Rayati is unique among women,
Among ten thousand women, there is none like you!

Your hair cascades from your head
Like the flood waters of the Mississippi.
Your eyes in your head are matchless:
One is brown and one is blue.
Your nose on your face is like a great tower;
Like the tower of Pisa, leaning slightly to the left.

Your teeth in your mouth are potsherds,
Sharp bits of pottery broken in battle,
Piercing your gums and your lips when you smile
As the tip of the king's spear pierces his foes.

The scent of your breath is like the rafflesia flower.
The king is intoxicated before he goes to kiss you.
Your head is a street lamp sitting regally atop its post,
Crowning your slender neck like a balloon on a string.

Listen! It is the sound of the singing of Rayati,
Reaching to my ears from across the mountains!
Sweet and melodic is her voice in song,
As the grating of rusted iron hinges.

My Dove, your skin is soft and smooth as sandpaper.
Like the scales of the serpent in the sand is your flesh.
Your perfume wafts into the nostrils of the king,
As the wind blowing swiftly through the stables.
Your belly is like a heap of sugar beets--
Several feet across and rather lumpy.

Your two legs are uneven fence posts,
With knobby knees like a camel's:
The work of a blind craftsman's hands.

Your feet in your sandals are like two trout of the sea
That flop and wriggle about with great strength and vigor.
Your toes are many, like the heads of Leviathan--
Twelve there are in all, and not one is like another!

Distinct from all other women is Rayati.
In all the land, there is none like unto her!

Feel the love at!

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