Mezuzah + A bull = A word = Grief 

Alexa Luborsky


let’s begin with a blessing for the doorway
in this blessing   we  forget   the   wanderer
who has no interest in rooms      who holds
onto transient things for shelter           bless
this   wandering   because it is our  meeting
let’s    watch    each    other     bloom   from
the safety of a doorway              why are we
here?  to shape each other           why do we
have each other?  to shape                    who
as  you  write  this  there  is   someone  who
has    been    born    on    the    wrong    side
of a border               as you write this we are
deciding     to     kill     them     on      a   raft
in the middle of an ocean       they are trying
to reach this threshold         as you write this
we     are     drowning    into     each    other
as    you   write   this   you   are   redefining
yourself for an opening           I am trying to
make a list of endangered histories       to ask
why  some bones are  worth  excavating and
others  are left in  the ground is to  ask   why
one of the oldest  concepts of     humanity  is
exile                       the question is   not   why
things  are  unspoken  but   why  they   were
named  and  why  that  name   is  no   longer
used             I am left to wonder if my zayde
engaged  in these  kinds  of  contracts   with
himself        if he   opposed the misprints   of
his name by claiming all of them:    whereas
today I am Moritz                   tomorrow I am
Moshe                         whereas I keep Morris
hidden in my ribs         whereas I take Moses
out at night to walk                  the grounds of
my tired limbs                        whereas I keep
115434                                   at the threshold
and  touch  my fingers to  my lips as  I  enter
where    they   cannot   and  why   is   tonight
different       from        all     other        nights?
because tonight I am not open             to you
because   tonight   history  can   wait   for  me
to grieve                    I will answer tomorrow

A bull = A word = Grief 

A bull bucks against the idea of a noun. It is not stationary. It is moving like how a bull charges at a thing to sublimate the feeling of being a bull.

Maybe I should say a bull is a parable, as in from the Greek para for alongside and bole for a throwing. As in how the act of throwing is rendered a noun to describe the path of the thrown object. The arc made a bull with its horn caught.  

A bull is not something I want to touch. A bull is drowned in its own river.

In other wordsa bull is not just a bull it is a collection of bulls nesting inside a word that tells them they are a part of a whole. 

But it doesn’t matter, because once a bull knows it is a bull there is no way to convince it otherwise. 

A bull is a chandelier of bone.

This is to say a body is light. A bull is the repurposed electricity of the bull.

The neck bone of a bull is called an axisAn imaginary line about which the body rotates.

This bull has become imaginary since bone has become an autocannibal. Bone: a verb that means to be rid of itselfBone the fish, the chicken, the limb, the self. 

In bullfighting there is a strict code of conduct and the bull must be stabbed at its peak exhaustion. It is only a matter of when. 

A bull’s charge is evaded by a veronica. The movement of the matador named after the woman said to have given Jesus a cloth, the one he stained his image on. 

It was originally the cloth that was called veronica, for the image on it. Derived from vera icon or real image. That is to say, a bull is an evasion of a real image

A bull is transparent when held up to the light. It cannot hold sweat or blood. A bull is a shroud with closed wounds. 

That is to say, a bull is a bull with the eyes of a lamb. 

Alexa Luborsky is an editorial assistant at Poetry Northwest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ConsequenceHobart, JuxtaProseMeridian, and Palette Poetry. She was born in Toronto, Canada and raised in Rhode Island.

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