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Genesis 1:1

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.

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We make impossible requests

of fundamental texts

searching in a vowel

that dissolves as we penetrate.

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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.

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From “The Lowercase Jew: Poems” by Rodger Kamenetz (Northwestern University Press:

76 pp., $12.95 paper)


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