Phosphorus curling the air, the way
paraffin or beeswax lights up and
holds off the dark. Because we never
blow them out, and they glow every
Friday, even as Midsummer stretches
the light past what you remember.
Salt dripping from parsley, beet
juice seeping from horeseradish,
iridescent as the April snow.
It’s light as freedom when we
begin, piling up heavy by the
end, like those still waiting.
Baruch atah Adonai takes you away
from the dishes, and lesson plans,
and scolding. This is how you notice
the candles, the wine and the challah,
and that you’ve made it to a new season,
in a language you know only for this.
A plain pine box, for the end,
the pebbles we leave for the ones
we still want. We’d bring them up
if we could, so we could memorize
the curve of their wrist as they dip
parsley in tears, the flutter of the
match as they strike the box, the
waft and the glow that they make.