The decorative mosaic adorning the ancient synagogue floor
is innocent of its future. Good luck, it means to say, or
my swastika hands miming perpetual motion wish you
everlasting peace and prosperity. And what coincidence
sends my son running across the plaza, blowing again
and again on his precious pinwheel toy? Say what you mean,
I want to shout. I am listening to the politicians
in the courtyard, excavating for small truths buried
beneath thick stratum of tedious lies. And when I am dust
who will interpret these few odd poems addressed
to family and friends? When I am gone who will explain
Dante’s politics to my child? Exiled during the war
of the Blacks and the Whites, did his writings
favor empire or church? Sometimes I forget
even my own lust for small temporary power. Good luck.
is my wish for my son who briefly holds his breath
as if contemplating his future, and the pinwheel of words
he will spin into the world to disguise or uncover his meanings.
To view this page as a PDF, click here.
Michelson, Richard. 2015. Dante's Politics. Tikkun 30(4): 72.