L’Simcha: Tree of Life


Eleven elders were executed in a Pittsburgh synagogue

in the deadliest attack on jewish americans in history—

& there’s no way to make sense of this sentence in language.
to diagram or scan it. The more you look the more the words break down

like eggs in a coward’s stomach. The word Pittsburgh tears apart into dark birds.
The word synagogue unspools into a length of red thread. Elders

becomes a plum tree young & flowering again. No way to language
this. To use the sentence without breaking it. Oh Pittsburgh, I am

with you in Pittsburgh. I am Pittsburghed in Pittsburgh. I am uneldered there
as I am here elderflowered. Here I am a synagogue in Pittsburgh filled

with the bright laughter of guns—with the dark gunfire of children.
My people are an extant species. My people are geniuses at turning

trauma into text. At turning the soil & planting improper nouns there.
The killer said, screw your optics, I’m going in & he did. Language is

to be believed if not trusted. The killer said all jews must die & this is
also true. All us must, even the gentiles among us, returned to dust.

& that dust returns us to Pittsburgh where we cough at the clean air,
where we execute the american sun, where we act like we aren’t

already history.