Adolph Hiremy-Hirschl, Ahasuerus at the End of the World
FEAR NO EVIL
She lifts her head from the pillow and says,
There’s a wind in Jerusalem that carries positive ions;
it drives the people mad in the summer.
Her hair smells like burnt wood.
It scratches my face as if I lie
in a field of grass.
I turn and roll away,
press my lips to the mattress.
It tastes of salt.
You don’t want to hear the truth,
she says from her end of the continent.
and pools of sweat
lie between us.
Her cheek rises like the moon
over cliffs of white cloth.
I wait for her to sleep, I wait
for that ebb and sigh
of breath and blood,
certain as the tide
Another plane forgot how to fly today.
It fell in a place
I’ve never been and never wish to go
where four men stand in a circle
waiting for the fire at their feet
to race up their legs
and dance atop their skulls.
They speak not in whispers
but in the jaunty sing song
of old records from
your mother’s cellar…