Andrey Gritsman


I am calm now. Calm.
This is the beginning of the road.
This is the end of the road.
Once you are born, you invite your soul
to be comfortable, to have a glass of water,
sit by the fire.

In the morning you go shopping
with the soul,
your close ones
left behind and you still
love them all, as if
you just went to the store
to pick up Tropicana and Starbucks,
maybe the matzo and blintzes.

You ask your soul to be quiet;
the supper’s coming,
you just have to learn to wait!
At last, the candles, the book, and strange letters
breathe cold, ancient air
as if from the twilight crevices
on the side streets of Yerushalayim.

We get warmer as we taste the wine,
herbs, and hummus. The soul puts a shawl on,
as dark wind sweeping over the water
enters the room. Since now
we always leave the door ajar,
in case Elijah comes by for a drink,
in case we have to leave home again
in the middle of the night
to go back home.

Harpur Palate, 11/08/10


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