Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

From Holiday VIII

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

From Holiday VIII

Article excerpt

after Yom Kippur

Now that it is the ninth of Tishri

I bring forth from the gut

all sourless apologies, silence

the fits, the bile hours spent.

Repentant before the gates

of heaven-now open but soon to be shut

for one more year, or eternity.

I prepare

for my fast with too much food,

(fast food-no pun here)

not the brisket, or the latkes,

patiently created in my grandmother's kitchen.

It's her day to be busy, busy

feeding family, but she's locked in

a vault today and can't get out

no matter how frantic the urgencies

of her knocks, the power of her fist.

To gain strength

I wear white-starched-out color

of purity and mercy-it constricts

the body, makes it more a supplicant. Sorry. Sorry--

say the congregants. (Sorry. Sorry

is what he said after the hurl

of his body onto me,

but that's another story-his cross

to carry or just chop up

for firewood. …

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