for Anna

  Pink blush of the happy young bride,
Gone in a distant ship’s whistle,
As the waves roll by,
  As the dust of Jacob washes
    Up on the Lower East Side.

  Pleasant eyes constrain the panic,
Holding breath for the camera’s decision.
She is married to her husband now:
  To his doom, and a new nation rising.
    Bites her lip she has made her decision.

  So she hopes with the hint of a smile
That her children discover the way,
Through the smoke that is rising from Europe,
  Through the howl of atoms dissolving,
    In the eye of Science unfolding

…yet not for her. But never for her;
Her service was always to others.
She was last seen receding,
  Too soon the breast stopped heaving
    In the subway’s cry
    – In a sullen bucket of lye

in the desert

untie the knots that bind you
upend the changers’ scales
you are not this aching circle
you are not this heart which fails

Adam’s dust in on your temples
David’s thirst is in your loins
you have crossed the sands to see Me
don’t forsake me for some coins!

for the charm of life is fleeting
often squandered, often bruised
and the one sin I can speak of
is the sin of life unused