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Zara Raab-lI

A Friend



A friend of mine has

died. He was ill a long time,

yet he told no one.


Instead, he kept the knowledge

to himself as if

it were a pill, a lozenge


to savor in his

mouth, sucking out the sweetness,

swallowing the salt.


Now the earth will seek him out

with her wet mouth and

she will taste him and manage


what others could not––

she will unlace the strands of

him and he will go


bare soled with only his name

into the cave of

time––with the high wind keening.


The sting of it sends the earth

careening––at noon,

the sky darkens, and motors


cease whirring as if

the Sabbath came with all her

peace.  But for the trees––


all along the streets

of the world, their leaves murmur

in Aramaic.