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MAPPING THE CITY: DC Places, Part II

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub

 

WANDERING JEW IN LITTLE ROME
Brookland, Washington, DC

What forces marshaled imagined otherwise led to this landing?
Father has always pleaded with me to live among my people.
Who exactly are my people? Where do the borders of folk begin?
I’ve always wanted to ask him but never do.
Baedeker in hand ever the diligent traveler
I try to follow the guideposts to
mercy perpetual adoration immaculate
Claire sister Holy Cross national shrine
archdiocese bishops Jesuit Dominican
St. Francis Trinity Franciscan
the list ongoing
the variables and varieties
that elude my grasp
and so I keep circling in my ignorance and torpor
until my guidebook dampens from confusion
stumbling unable to visualize the other side
and trying not to think of the Inquisition
the Expulsion from Spain and Portugal
and the policies on queer desire souls
my other people
and wondering what would happen to the world
if the Pope released an encyclical
declaring homosexuality sublime a gift divine
and how reckless it all seems to
burn these words onto screen and page
for fear still of the auto-da-fé
but taking caution not to blunt the nuance
the spectrum of expression and voices
to honor the complexity of dissent
the refusal to leave quietly
Dorothy Day Liberation Theology Dignity
until in the end this isn’t a statement or
perhaps even a poem really
but a few lines for consideration
of judiciousness reached for but perhaps not attained
of late Sunday afternoons strolling along grace’s promenade
staring at signs and symbols and landmarks undeciphered
but grateful always for this shelter these embers of light
and the pines and the ghosts flickering between them

 


Yermiyahu Ahron Taub is the author of of two volumes of poetry, The Insatiable Psalm (Wind River Press, 2005) and What Stillness Illuminated/Vos shtilkayt hot baloykhtn (Parlor Press, 2008; Free Verse Editions). He was honored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage as one of New York’s best emerging Jewish artists. His web site: http://www.yataub.net.

 

Published in Volume 11, Number 4, Fall 2010.

 

To read more by this author:
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub