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They Call It Temple

by Benny Shlesinger 8 months ago in love poems · updated 8 months ago
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Home is where...

They Call It Temple
Photo by rajat sarki on Unsplash

The truth is, I don’t know where home is

I checked where my heart beats

But I didn’t find anything there

Just a heart, beating its part in a symphony of infinitely intricate art

The organs churn on

“I tell them I’m looking for home and I’m sorry I was supposed to write a poem and the heart is where I’m told I can find ho-”

What about the stomach?!” squeals the unexpectedly vocal spleen trying to give some credit to the gut and its feelings

“True,” I admit. “But not to be rude, this may be a bit crude but you don’t seem to have what I’m looking for”

We don’t?

“I’m sorry… no. I’m looking for Home.”




“For a poem. But also sometimes I feel quite alone and not like myself and maybe I need to go Home.”

And where’s that?

“I don’t know”

Well, let’s get moving then

Legs pumping, heart pounding, off we went

What does Home look like?

Online or in a book you might find someone took some pictures of houses and mansions and the comments all say:

“Look what a nice Home!”

Is it? I hear shouting from that house a lot. Fighting.

“That doesn’t sound like Home!”

Quite right.

But what does Home sound like?

Like songs during the holidays when families play and laugh all day and for about a week its all ok and-

“The vacation ends”

Reality resumes, the doldrums ensue

Back here again at square one.

What does Home taste like?

“That’s silly.”

“Oh really? Well, what about borekas that bring you back 'home', baked by Dad or Savta or”

“No! You’ll shit it out. I appreciate the sentiment but I guess I’d rather end this argument now. Taste doesn’t work. It’s too transient.”

“Yes… I see. Simply drudging up memories to feed nostalgia, a home cannot be.”

“Mmmmmm, wise thoughts indeed.”

What does home smell like?

Like dog fur and old sweaters and –

“Home smells like dog?”



Well really I know that you can’t quite smell Home

Like taste, it’ a state that feels like escape

Return to a time before taxes, federal and state

“You’re stalling”

“Yes, I know”

In earnest I’m nervous to think about Home in certain terms regarding the fifth of the senses because if I’ve learned anything it’s that I don’t know what it feels like to be at Home

“How does one know? There’s never been ever a place I could go where you, my body, felt all the way right at Home”

It’s quiet.

The voice has gone silent

Though now I try I can’t hear the whine of my gut telling left from right

I panic and manically my breath rises in my chest I’m dying in cold sweat and a hurricane overtakes my breaths and holds my neck and eventually I collapse into a heap

A mess of my gut’s neglect

I regret

“I’m sorry” I whisper

“No need to repent, don’t do it again”

Relieved I smile and reply “Please believe I won’t”

You were always there when I felt alone.

Churning away

Keeping me going

Sitting me up while I wrote silly poems and thought about what I could say about Home

But Home isn’t something that I could ever see

It is the thing that houses Me

It walks me around and talks so profoundly

It whispers in my mind and my heart and my gut

I tell you what:

My body is my home

They call it temple

It’s worthy of a poem

love poems

About the author

Benny Shlesinger

Amateur philosopher, avid keyboard pitter-patterer

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