6,000,000 – Natalia Emerson

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Sh’ma
Here
are the unmarked houses,
timber tick marks,
wood in effete garment,
rabid Angel trumps florid lamb.
Sh’ma Yisrael
And here
are the plastic people,
scent of sulfur,
faithful bishop bows to pawn,
melting under phoenix flame.
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai
And here
is the snuffed-out candle,
extinguished
by breath and wanton wind,
sole stirrers behind the curtain.
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu
Look, here
are the worn-out soles,
the striped cloth cataclysms,
rhythmic march to the
heartbeat of a mercenary God.
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai
And look, here
are the souls sepulchered
in sanguine streets,
answerless calls–when the bread
won’t rise, they leaven our dead.
Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Ehad

Look here,
and here,
and here,
and hear.

Not a word, but a prayer.

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