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Poetry

Outside, the traffic stutters, some drivers blow
their horns and the impulse bolts in dendrite-leaps

from car to car. I’d like to think it’s the bellow
of my stiff-necked Hebrews, shofars raised to lips,

razing, man to man, the walls of Jericho
to its stony knees. But it’s more how a monkey lopes—

branch to branch, screeching, pointing low,
scaring monkeys from their monkey sleeps

who scare the other monkeys who…. The echo
of this rings on and I hear it at times, lamps

turned dim, the outlined trees beyond the window
leaning to the gray light while the day unclasps

its hold and I listen there for a come and go
of breath, my daughter’s, and wait for its eclipse

of sound, its fine white noise, for the flow
of traffic to stop and cries at the wall’s collapse

to come distantly like waves of radio
coming off the stars. Stars wheel their laps

above the trees now, the birds all diminuendo,
the day itself all diminuendo and lapse.

Sophie rolls her head across her pillow
and I’m here, watching past the trees as she lisps

something in sleep. Each tail-light’s fisted glow
relents and—watch with me—each pilgrim limps

toward the city just beyond this meadow,
recalled a lifetime, after but a glimpse.


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