a slave breathing
carries a heavy stone for a backpack.
Waiting to set it down for generations,
waiting to rest it by the foot of a quilted bed.
During the last year of suffering
fists let go and blossom.
We have no time to think,
only time to get through,
searching for straw to make bricks,
under the refrigerator, in the cabinets,
in the cracks of the car seat.
The only whip ticking at the hour,
a slight change on the face.
Ancestors walking forty years in the desert
compressed to one week each year.
Matzoh falls from heaven. We collect the broken
manna glistening above the sand like frost.
Gathering the sparks falling from it with brooms.
On the table it loses its shimmer,
sheets of stiff parchment,
the typewriter keys are white teeth
eating up our story.