i used to love to bake
it is during the course
of morning rituals
ablutions of ashes
that i sew
these tatters and remnants
a makeshift coat of many colors
(would that it were Technicolor)
memories of hope
of a gentle touch
enough to shield
the nakedness of my heart
for just another
i really was perplexed as to how this poem came together — i think the first draft started back in March of 2016 — with the phrase “a coat of many colors”. i really donʻt know why that phrase stuck. iʻm sure somewhere in my teen-hood, the title of the musical lodged itself, but my study of the old testament ended in elementary school — probably 3rd grade, before we moved to Nu’uanu, since i remember reading the bible in Mānoa as a child (why is beyond me — i suppose i wanted the challenge, for the same reason i tried to memorize Hamlet around the same time. it sure as f*ck wasnʻt because i wanted to go to church or anything).
so, a year later, as i dig through material to finish, i revisit this piece, and decide to research. itʻs bugging me. ok, i get the Joseph story (Genesis 37:3). but it just didnʻt ring.
so i look some more — and find Tamar, daughter of King David (the one who kills Uriah by treachery to claim Uriahʻs wife, Bat-Sheva, who he had already slept with). Tamar is raped by her half brother, Amnon, who lures her under the guise of being ill and needing nursing by the hand of his half-sister.
8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. Then she took flour and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan and placed them out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.” And they all went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them to Amnon her brother in the bedroom.
2 Samuel 13:8–10
New King James Version
eat. from her hand.
He eventually gets a free pass from David (surprisesurpisesurprise), although Tamarʻs full brother, Absalom, will seek vengeance with Amnonʻs blood two years later.
this is the story.
it rings faintly — confused 8 year-old readings of convoluted stories of lust, incest, anger.
yeah. sounds about right. shitʻs too real. no wonder, somehow, this story stuck.
poor Tamar. she got fucked. literally. and figuratively. so much for that coat of many colors. 2 Samuel 13.
yeah. donʻt i know.
this shit gets old.
too. f*cking. real.
iʻm so worn out, trying to find something salvageable from my life.
oh, yeah, so along the way, i found this link — a call to self-reflection and responsibility from within a part of the Christian church. It was nice to read this. at least, someone speaking truth to power.