A mackerel sky, a blood-orange sun,
and leaves drooping from the black limbs of oaks;
and thieving magpies, hell-mirroring rooks,
behind an old woman’s whispers and sighs—
After the tears, heartfelt tears and crocodile tears,
I sit here with mouldy bread crumbs, dill leaves and salt.
The plastic clock above the fridge strikes the hour
Had I not grown suddenly short of breath,
I'd have sung hosannas. But the poor beast
that I found lay martyred beyond its death.
I turn my shoulder to the grey and think
of Yosel, son of Saul Rabinsky, how
he slammed the doors of crowded cattle cars
bound for Siberia, although the faces
“For the stone which has been thrown up
it is no evil to come down, nor indeed any good
to have been carried up.”
Some nights are never-ending hells
for these old veterans in our care.
We do not hand out pills, but shells,
as out of battlefields they stare
To love this flesh,
its rivers and valleys,
ripe or rotting.
The winos on the benches, in between
swigs and catnaps, would refer to him
as Saint Francis of Bryant Park. It was
How well he knew the wives of publicans,
come-hither smiles beneath the crumbling arches,
the lingering scent of unattended cunts.
He too was half mad, fond of <i>garum</i>, March's