“You Are Making Me Now”

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 9:39 am
Joy Ladin plays with her youngest daughter at a playground in Amherst, Massachusetts.

“You Are Making Me Now”

You are making me now,
Right now, the clay of me
Warm in your hands,The hands of me warmed
By your hands that shape them, shape a heart
That’s never beaten, been beaten,

Skin that shivers in secret places,
Places that will never be touched
Except by the maker

Hunched patiently over
The stupidity of matter,
Leaving your mark between my eyes, my hips,

In the clay turning slowly in your hands,
Blinking a little in your light
As I learn to forget

The tenderness you reveal
In the act of making, to confuse
The feeling of your fingers

Moving inside me
With smaller, less luminous fingers
That will never reach as deep, whose love

Will never make me
Something that can think, can suffer,
As your love, finger by finger,

Is making me now.


For those who prefer the silence of one voice, here is a version without music

Reprinted from “Psalms” by Joy Ladin. Copyright © 2010 by Joy Ladin. Used with the permission of the publisher, Wipf and Stock Publishers.

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is Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in New York. Her memoir is called Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders. She’s also the author of seven collections of poetry, and is currently the recipient of an NEA fellowship to write I am What I Will Be: Reading God and the Torah from a Transgender Perspective.

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