For Joseph: A poem inspired by Parashat Vayeshev

I’m a bit delayed in posting to the blog this week. I was inspired in reading this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Vayeshev, (Genesis 37:1-40:23) which begins the story of Joseph. Joseph is a dreamer, an outsider both at home and when he is sold into slavery in Egypt, and a queer icon! The topic of Joseph, gender, and sexuality is one that I hope to explore in more depth in future posts and/videos.

In reading his story this year, I was profoundly moved by the sense of displacement and related deeply to the difficulty of standing out in contexts that value sameness. Through the character of Joseph, I explore the quest: What does it mean to belong?

If only it had been a cloak of invisibility.

Your mistake 
was being too colorful in a world 
of black and white tones.
letting the words spill from your mouth
into a waterless pit
filled with snakes and scorpions.

When the house falls down
and you step 
through the portal into a world 
of kings and gods
Palaces cupbearers lustful eyes
who do you become?

There is no place like home.

No place is home 
for beautiful goatherds who dream.