My Yarmulke, Like a Siren

Swallowing today’s wild trumpus I am trying
to understand why do they hate us, why do they
hate at all, telling myself it will take twenty thousand years
for the Great Wall of China to erode,

civilization has been bad
for so long

the fact that anyone at all’s not racist
is one giant step

and I’m stepping in the direction of home
trying not to rustle any feet besides mine
on subways I stand with arms to myself
knowing how Jewish I look and knowing

they all notice it too, I’ve painted
myself into the corner of expectations
nothing I do will make people happy
I should work on myself instead

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But I’m not going to change the world, I’m
barely brave enough to be a part of it
the only thing I’ve done worth talking about 
is reproducing

and reproducing is the only reason I care 
enough to be worried

We lie to ourselves that science fiction
is about hope and not escaping
every alien I’ve ever written is a wish
to be different, or that everyone else was

I could change the way I look, shave
or just try to act better than
whatever they think Jews are

hoping the faint hope
that they, too, are hoping
the Jews will one day be better