A hint, a faint scent only—like the
perfume of a woman that lingers
in the air of a room, or rests on
her pillow, long after she has gone—
hides in the fringes of my tallit.
The smell of cinnamon, and something
more, sharp and pungent as the bouquet
of Cyprus wine ringing the mouth of
an ancient amphora, embedded
in the memory of its cold clay.
Concealed in my tallit, these relics:
salt of Sodom, aromatic bark,
frankincense—pointing to the other,
separating sacred from profane,
hiding my head, exposing my heart.