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Poetry: Burnt Offering

A poem by Alisha Kaplan
Comment by Alicia Ostriker

at the entrance to the tent of meeting a postpartum
               woman must bring
a young pigeon and a year-old lamb to cleanse her
               of impurity

hasn’t she already sacrificed
her body

to a tiny god whose fist
tightens around her finger

and hasn’t there been blood enough
for the holy men to wade in

Alicia Ostriker, Lilith’s poetry editor, comments:
“The tiny god couplet is delicious.”