Maybe I shouldn’t tell you I wear
a star under my shirt.
Having heard two swastikas
were seen magic-marked
on our Havaruh’s door.
Here, in a country town, more
of a house than a city’s
synagogue. Maybe I shouldn’t
say how much or how little
I pray. How disturbing it is
to remember the numbers I saw
inked on a man’s wrist,
when I was a boy.
What, a few weeks ago,
I felt in Birkenau, fields
of chimneys and smoke I thought
I could smell, the bodies still
burning. What I prayed I hoped
would never happen again
anywhere. South and north.
To name two known directions.
Although given what’s happening
in Standing Rock, I have to remember
what it is we did. we do in the West.
What is being done, far east of us.
Collaterally. What a coward
of a word we’re using. Leading me
to say, what I’m saying here
is me and not a poem’s speaker.
The star I wrote at the top
of the page is the Star of David.
A star under my shirt I can trace