Jewish Divorce

Five rabbis come

to my mother’s tiny apartment

in Brooklyn.

Fifteen years

after the divorce

she stands in her doorway

with her babushka

and wet eyes.


There is a clicking

of tongues.

The young fat one

with pink cheeks

speaks first.

The middle-aged one

takes my mother’s hand.

He pays her a compliment

that embarrasses her.




I hold you and the rabbis file in quietly,

filling the small places quickly as salt.

With you in the dimming afternoon,

hollow closets, whispering old women with knitting needles;

and I have arrived,

welcomed with an array of kerchiefs and brassieres in every color.


On your bed, my pockets full of dirty salt,

while the rabbis file in silently and fill the corners of the room.

Copyright 2018 Rachel A Levine