The Semite-Anti

I knew a Semite, once-
who was anti-anything that wasn’t
his own concept, or concepted to his own
intimate reality and you would think that a Jew
would know a thing or two about tolerance;
about the consequences for the lack of it
or at least realize the danger of narrow roads

yet he rides a bicycle around
his university town, because the chance
tuning of a classical station once led to Domingo
singing to angels, eating bread where the road
got narrower still; the pleasant shock turned car
into flaming tree along the landscape littered

highway to Barnes and Noble,
where he goes to find his roots, goes to cry
over CD’s sang in the mother tongue; the notes
dripping like the snapped strings of guitars-
sometimes as he leaves, he feels he can walk straight
through the brick walls like gamma rays but

he pedals instead, home for dinner;
a fish sup of mackerel displayed on his counter
like the art of poetry lays upon the page and he hones
his knife on the sharpening wheel; slits the white belly,
removes bright innards, washes the gutted carcass
beneath tap water as cold as the Aegean sea-
as it boils within the gray water of domesticity
he knows that later he will write of it, for writing
is a noble task and he is nothing if not noble

and after, he sleeps; and as he sleeps
he dreams of apples; falling apples, forbidden apples,
the apples of paradise that an old woman bids him
not to eat and then his mind shifts and he is standing
among the broken pieces of Palestine and Greek sculpture
that lie in silent discord at his feet, the feet of the elite
athlete who in his youth slapped decathlon ass
while shit smeared his hands and he thanks God,
thanks Jehovah for the privilege and then he wakes-

just another forgotten old man
with dried spittle in his eyes and on his lips,
the cupboard stitches in his scalp tingle, mingle
with the fluttering remnants of fucking the Venus De Milo
while dream-Nazis cheered him on, their dream-faces
set in sybaritic leers so he draws a bath to cleanse
the night sweats; dives beneath its warm surface
like a submarine -hard, true- and emerges flaccid,
limp as the pink mackerel dinner and somewhere
in the back of his mind he wonders who will grieve;
who will sing the liturgical dirges for him.

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