Day 22 of the Omer
Day 24 of the Omer

Day 23 of the Omer


Afternoon's flat hot white
gives way to the electric green
of minarets against evening's blur.

Old city divides: here
crosses, there metal crescents.
Judaism's in the paving stones.

I press against the wall
to let the Land Rover pass,
the bike, the men with sidecurls.

I wish these dusty Coke bottles
were inscribed in two languages.
Harmony's a long way off.

Taste and see:
our story crackles
like pastry drenched with honey.

Torah is a fresh fig
ready to be parted and savored.
There's enough to share.

Long after every border blows away
like chalk dust on the wind
her waters will endure.



Today is the 23rd day of the Omer, making three weeks and two days of the Omer. This is the 23rd day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.

Today's poem was sparked by one of Luisa A. Igloria's prompts from last year - the one from April 22, which suggested stanzas, moving through space, synonyms for light, the words "metal," "electric," and "blur," the present tense, references to two sweets, and a reference to a commercial from my childhood. (Can you find the reference to the commercial?)

In the kabbalistic paradigm, today is the day of gevurah she'b'netzach, the day of boundaries or borders or strength within the week of endurance. As I worked with Luisa's prompt, I found myself thinking about Jerusalem, and borders, and what endures.