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Forgiveness Season

When the green Sierra figs
have fully digested the tiny wasps
that burrow in their backs
through a pinched hole
losing their wings on the way
so all that’s left is to desiccate
among the pink jammy acids.

A season for telling our preteens
that forgiveness is a commandment,
for imagining a god that gives
permission to wage war
but orders us let go of petty grudges
over who lost the glitter gel polish
or left the snowball dance too early.

A season for leading by example
alone in the small chapel with lights off
too dark to read but I know it by heart
Blessed are you our god who didn’t
make me a woman

and finding it easy to forgive
because it’s true–
god didn’t make me a woman
You did. Yes, You, You Reader

who now will picture that tiny wasp
in the exact moment its first wing separates
at the iridescent shoulder, so easy
it could have been perforated
still it pushes onward
as the second wing sticks and rips
and then the acid whispers
open to its buzzing, swollen abdomen.

You are blessed, You who hears
petty grudge and thinks Girlhood
you who feels the wasp’s final shudder
and thinks Inheritance. Bless you.



Joshua Sassoon Orol is a trans Jewish poet from Raleigh, NC, writing with the texts, tunes, and stories passed down from their mixed heritage family. Joshua completed an MFA at NC State University, and received an Academy of American Poets prize while at UNC Chapel Hill. Their work has most recently been published in the Jewish Literary Journal, Nimrod, Driftwood Press, and the 2018 Mizmor Anthology.

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