“Portrait with Chair” © Paul Rabinowitz


Here is the weight of wanting

You ask me:
How do I forgive myself
For the myriad ways
I have failed?

So I hold out a hand
And reveal a stone
And say:
Here is the weight of wanting

You did nothing to create it
It just arrived
Like Athena
from Zeus’ forehead

And in my other hand
I reveal emptiness
And say:
Here is the weight of self-love

Where you must grow
From nothing
A balancing force
To know you are enough

To hold yourself
As you would a child
And this will come
As good things do

And you nod and go
To assess the weights in your palms
As I do
Knowing that practice is different
From knowledge

That while I know better
Deep down,
Like water beneath a frozen lake
Flowing, ominously
Part of me believes my inner child should not be held
That she does not deserve warmth;
She will harden and rise
From the depths
Like an icy Aphrodite
And she must be born this way
Or not at all

And if she does not rise
I will not save her
And I will blame her
For not learning how to swim


Amanda Faye Martin is a writer from the United States, living in New Zealand. She is primarily a playwright, but has also had poems, micro-fiction, and satire published online. She is currently the Playwriting Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Paul Rabinowitz is an author, photographer and founder of ARTS By The People, a nonprofit arts organization based in New Jersey. Paul’s photography, short fiction and poetry have appeared in many magazines and journals including Long Exposure Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Pif Magazine, The Metaworker and others. Paul is the author of Limited Light, a book of prose and portrait photography, and a novella, The Clay Urn, (Main Street Rag, 2020). Paul is currently at work on two novels Confluence and Grand Street, Revisited. Paul has produced many mixed media performances and poetry animation films that have appeared on stages and in theaters in New York City, New Jersey, Tel Aviv and Paris. Paul is a written word performer and the founder of “The Platform,” a monthly literary series in New Jersey, and Platform Review, a journal of voices and visual art from around the world.