The Scroll is adding to our poetry output with Scroll Verse, a recurring feature that presents the works of Jewish poets–or in some cases, poets who write on Tablet themes or have Jewish souls. Our last poem was White Noise in Jerusalem by Robert Hirschfield.
Our latest installment is a work by Susan Comninos.
CREED: A Still Life
Acceptance is the graph paper of youth.
Chart disappointments on it. That’s what I do.
The fruit fly’s a minor chord lifting above
the stove on its drunken flight to
Nothing. Nowhere. Its looped rise, a theme
the whole kitchen sways against, says, “Do
what you like to switch the fall lights on.” The leaves,
like traffic bulbs, flash their creed: green, go
red. Who’s confused? No one wants the fruit
of the vine, once the table grapes dry. Do
you think that they’ll keep? They never do.
Here’s a tune for this tableau: love
the worm, the wine, the swell of the lip
of the vase in a darkening room. Stay
sweet, overripe. Put cloth on your head
like you’re the blessed bread. Pour milk by feel. Stop
the blind exit of husband, sons,
the boys who drove to see you. Do
grope your way past this wreck of a door,
this apple-wracked scene. Can
you know me now, waving at you? Break this frame: last,
first, and through the stricken middle. Leave it. Do.
Susan Comninos is a journalist, poet and teacher in New York. Her poetry appeared most recently in the Cortland Review, Tulane Review and Literary Mama. Previously, it appeared in TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, Lilith, Tikkun and the Forward, among others. In 2010, it won the Yehuda Halevi Poetry Contest run by Tablet. It is forthcoming in Subtropics and J Journal.