Forget it all, every last
It can’t be recalled, anyway.
The quest for antecedent,
for the contours of primordial meat dumpling,
for the steps marched en route to annihilation,
however noble, is doomed, in the end.
Don’t imagine otherwise. Don’t be lulled
by branches waltzing by on gray silk,
by the ache of your blurry yearning,
into conclusions of grandeur or imagined connection.
Pulp the maps and the
burn the photo albums.
Circumvent the archives,
municipal and otherwise.
Why face the natives pissing at the tour bus?
Don’t go to the tombstones,
tottering in drunken gloom.
You won’t find anything.
I come from the garden of nothing and nowhere,
and to there I shall return.
You too, you know.
But, if anything should happen to
me in the by and by,
her many chins aquiver at last,
peering through the lace of bramble and tangle,
take care of my children.
This one is X,
and this here is the angel Y,
my twin integers against the apocalypse.
That’s all I ask. And thank you for visiting.
Come see us again soon.
All the schoolyard
taunts initially came to
He--beanpole, tower, tree trunk,
ropy, Lincoln, skyscraper,
(But now with a twist—the ripple of sinew,
the strain of bicep.)
And she far below—a speck, paramecium,
toy, bobble-head, Weeble.
An odd couple, sure, but also
With Sarina, you see, Marvin made
His long limbs formed a fortress around
her barkless muzzle, her tiny body—
more places to hide, snuggle, get warm,
even in summer.
A light bore through her rheumy eyes at
His every move, his very touch transformed
her into ecstasy.
With Sarina, Marvin removed his mantle of
the voices from long ago, the stares of
In the fog of her declining breath, he
could loosen the fortress of his discipline.
Hovering around his ankles, her limp was
if not healed, then irrelevant.
Her wiry gray curls became damask under
his massive hands.
Throughout their strolls the neighbors
eyed, not the tower and the toy,
but me, the one behind them. It was so
obvious: none of this was about me.
Even when Marvin pooled Sarina’s drool and
I saw myself
hobbling to the toilet of an old age
a scrim on the eyelids banished to the
cobwebs of foreshadow, even then I knew this.
So don’t let this poem be about me, the
ghostly lover outside the frame.
If you have to see me here at all, see me
not as interloper,
but as chronicler of a gentle love. Listen
to me as I walk with them,
whispering my incantation, my mantra of
Sarina, Serena, serene, serenity,
Sarina, Serena, serene …
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is the author of two
volumes of poetry, The Insatiable Psalm (Hershey, Pa.:
Wind River Press, 2005) and What Stillness
Illuminated/Vos shtilkayt hot balykhtn (West
Lafayette, Ind., Parlor Press, 2008; Free Verse Editions
series). His Yiddish and English language poems, one of which
was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, have appeared in numerous
publications, including Eclectica Magazine, Loch
Raven Reciew, The Orange Room Review, Prarie
Schooner, and The South Carolina Review. He
was honored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage asa one of New
York's best emerging Jewish artists. Visit his website