Deep in the 14th Street catacombs
a wearied poet writes resolutions
in subway cars, rolls them up
in dusty palms, pushes them
into the cracks.
He naps afternoons away
on newspaper, leather strapped
to fingers. At night he gathers
worn soles, holds them
as they shuffle in the tunnels.
Looking up to ribs of schist and steel,
he says brachot
for the mudbound in their tiled tombs.
teachers and poets
raise up the living
with their lips.
Sometimes they toss tzedakah.
Sometimes they thank him
for protection. He nods and
waits for them to rise.
Jonathan Lewis’ poetry has been published in five countries. In 2015, he received a Reader’s Award from “Orbis Literary Journal.” His poems have appeared in publications including “Dream Catcher”, “Hawai’i Review”, “Icelandic Connection”, “Northern Virginia Review”, “Poetica Magazine”, and “Voices Israel.” He has also written articles for the “Berkeley Jewish Journal.”