Mad Scribble at a Speakeasy

Mad Scribble at a Speakeasy by Aliza Abusch-Magder - Photo by Sonja Lippmann

A flower down my spine

The name of God over my heart

Her beautiful letters a soft damp brown— a perennial declaration of my devotion—

Grasping my breast

I need to write to Noah,

Tell him I am so proud of who he has become

‎בשבילי נברא העולם

For me the world was created

‎וְאָנֹכִי עָפָר וָאֵפֶר

I am but dust and ashes

I am being told I am beautiful

And I am mad whenever I see it in myself

Am I allowed to be beautiful?

I would marry her in a heartbeat.

I want to find a home in her arms and

Between her thighs.

He saw me in the street and called,

Gently but with distinct passion,

My name. How I always pictured it to be.

Maybe all my romance isn’t stupid.

Yes it is.

Romance is for the young and weak.

And I am both.

The way we embraced felt like we were both thinking of the other relatively often,

yet with no real intention or expectation.

Just a morsel of a moment,

Melts, moans,

And then disappears.

Who knows. Not me. I am, again, but dust and ashes.

I asked myself how I was feeling

And answered with assurance


I said bathed in sensation:

I used to play the saxophone and I am bathing in the taste of a mildewed reed,

in still, cold pressure each finger applied,

And the satisfaction of having created something, even if it was off-key and left me feeling breathless.

One day I will create life beyond my own and she will leave me feeling the same way.

Now I am leaving my life source and I am told that it is natural, healthy

She won’t be here so I compress my comforter, leaving no room for shoes

Or shampoo

Or anything practical

But at least I will have somewhere to hold myself

Maybe my cheeks aren’t so bad after all.

He dropped sweat on his cello. Delighted, danced to the music as he created it.

I rub my thumb softly.

This is how you will continue to survive,

My therapist says,

Day after day,

One foot in front of the next,

One thumb lightly rubbing the other.

I imbibe knowledge and coffee and out came words

Flowing through my pen, not even gracing my mind

I wonder if sabba will have to die before I read any of his poetry.

He wanted to be Jack Kerouac, but only jerks like Kerouac, so does that mean my sabba is a jerk? Or just a slightly saggy, soft-boned body bag filled with unattempted dreams.

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