Gritsev Calls

Come back to this, boychik. To the shteppes, the old woods, burnt roots of cedar, synagogues
of malachite & ice. Back to the frozen road – phantoms tamped into wheel-ruts, rough women
kneading dough with fists. Come back, boychik. Your great-grandfather runs with his pants
rolled up, chases rabbits, stick in hand – he is Aaron, Moses, the Golem of Prague. His father
can no longer reach the good apples. Of the czar we do not speak. We save our reverence
for what cannot be seen. Forbidden language pulled from tongues of chimney smoke, the Book
of Snow that moves through ending after ending. Come back & see how you were built to remain.
How easy you open the belly of the caribou when your belly says open the belly of the caribou.
Come back to this hunger, a skinny witch whispering live, live, live. She stirs a cauldron of ashes,
sings to the geese. They say the first & last bites are best – here, they are sometimes the only
ones. Come back & greet famine as a friend. Subsist on the memory of soup, of dancing,
of making a circle where the dark won’t come. You belong here, full of emptying space.
Come back to the emptying, trudge through snow with heavy questions on your back.
Here, where asking has been outlawed, where we pray into the ghost-thick sky:
Enough, enough, Lord, let this be enough. We have all the answers we need.

About the author

Jeremy Radin was born in Los Angeles but don't let that fool you. He's much more comfortable in miserable weather. The forests of Oregon…

Read the full bio

Issue 22 · April 2015

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