Friday Poem

Breakfast with Vananu

My mother had me in Boston but really
by the Beit El checkpoint. I trace my begats
to the burning bush, just blooming henna
but it makes me a citizen of the roadmap.
I just have to fill out the forms. I’ll never escape
the past but at least I can call my kitchen
an embassy, my refrigerator a stockpile
of milk and honey. They carried the promise
around on a palanquin. Remember Nazis
shriveling, rays shooting out between gold angels,
the thing then wheeled to a spot in a warehouse?
He found manna jars labeled Heavy Water
on a shelf and became the last raider
of the lost ark. He leaked the truth
and got eighteen years for assaulting
the holy land with a deadly weapon.
But he can visit me for pancakes and not
violate his house arrest. You should be ashamed,
someone said, and perhaps someone should.
They made Moses wear a veil, his face ablaze
when he walked down the mountain,
its whereabouts classified. It takes God
willing times two hundred to protect
a desert, all my mugs and bowls
waiting for the archaeologists.

by David Moolten
Pank Magazine, Fall/Winter, 2016

Mordechai Vananu