My mother tells me the Brooklyn I am chasing is gone.
I couldn’t point you in that direction—what was
a green awning as a child may now be
crumbled and discarded along with
the shul no one visits anymore. But the star
is still visible from what is now a church.
I ran in that basement, heard the mourning
Hebrew, shuffling Orthodox swaying.
What can you do with memories but
tell the stories over and over and
over until the living can’t recognize those
dead and the stories stand in the corner
upright, alone, watching you sleep?
Janine Jankovitz Pastor is a full-time rabbinical student in Philadelphia, a lover of words both English and Hebrew, and a reformed Yankee. She writes poetry and fiction.