by Tom Bajoras

I have no words—
my rhymes, ripe and sweet,
scatter in the wind,
leaving only thorns
on a tree that bears no fruit.

I go down to the sea,
but the sea is dry.
An expanse of salt,
scorched by sun,
connects me to the end of the world.

In a dream I stand in a garden
with rocks, plants,
creatures of the land and sky
clothed in cool morning air,
breathing shalom,
melodies enraptured
rising heavenward,
prayers not bound by time or space,
as if everything, everywhere
is exactly as it should be.

Invading this garden,
we silenced the songs of innocence.
We swallowed the mountains,
spit out concrete and steel
to build our cities,
whose searchlight talons
pierced the night,
shredding the very stars,
until there were no words, no fruit.

The last drop of water—
all that remains of the sea—
testifies that we,
once the salt of the Earth,
are now just tears
spilling from our mother’s eyes.