“Send the dew of blessing, the dew of grace;
renew my dispensation, and grant me length of days.”

– from “Prayers for the Protection and Opening of the Heart”
by Ya’akov Hakohen, trans. Peter Cole


Intuit, lean in, listen: the world’s too much. Who’s left
that knows to comprehend words that don’t get spoken?

A finger traces a vein along the chipped Formica counter.
Behind it, the cashier’s chalking in prices on the menu board:

Banh mi, buckwheat crepes, waffles, sausage and gravy. Outside fog,
windows clouded with steam. Appetite not meaning to obscure the view.

A woman’s knitting a blanket for a child soon born. The tips of fingers
where they press to work against the metal needles, blue-heathered as yarn.

How long, I wonder, will I have the strength to keep sprinting? I barely made
the last flight out. And no one cares to look through manifests for missing names.

Rain now, snowfall tonight. Unharmed, the baby they found in a field.
A town raked through and through by tornado winds around her.

We sit with charts and tables: worry times need calculating cost. Ring it up
once, twice, thrice. Was everything all right? Come back again soon.


In response to How to Burn.

One Reply to “Penultimates”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.