When Gods were beginning to make
the alphabet of heaven and earth,
the wind ruffled the black waters
and the earth had no name or form.
We make impossible requests
of fundamental texts
searching in a vowel
that dissolves as we penetrate.
No name to pronounce,
no form to see and the letters
from aleph to tough
ruffle like particles of ocean.
We hover over waters
created before the beginning,
waters that spit up letters
black as ink or thought.
From “The Lowercase Jew: Poems” by Rodger Kamenetz (Northwestern University Press:
76 pp., $12.95 paper)