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Maybe This Year Their Inkwell’s Running Dry

    For the sake of public health, the chazanim 
pare an hour from shacharis
        like they’re carving an ice sculpture. 
The machzor’s words rumble through me 
like the wheels of a coaltrain at night. 
    On the first Rosh Hashanah, 
G-d chiseled a man out of rich, damp earth 
        then scooped into his sleeping ribs to mold Chava.
Two wingspans float between each chair. 
    Our systems 
        are newly paper thin. 
The Gemara notes 
        that the shofar’s wailing resembles Sisera’s mother
        when he never returned. 
Had it not been the tent peg, 
        would her sobs still be canon? 
All these people have been taken 
        and our hands still inhale every surface–it’s the American dream. 
The shofar with its surgical mask 
    is a tunnel opening into 
charcoal night. 
        G-d himself breathed into Adam’s nostrils 
        and his chest expanded towards heaven 
and he was fully grown, still younger 
than the purple-throated birds floating 
        over him. 
What a time to pray as if we’re running 
        through a wheatfield, out of breath and glancing 
           behind 
to see if we’ve lost 
        what’s following us.