Six splashes (some say eight)

alternating,

side to side.

The vessel passes

from hand

to hand:

right, left, right.

 

This banishes the beasts of night.

 

Lowers the lid on the roiling pot,

slides the drawer of destruction and disarray into its proper

slot.

 

How does it happen

that the drawer rolls open again by day

and your fingers find,

without fumbling,

the exact implement,

now placed and primed

for quick retrieval and

surgical intervention?

 

By what alchemy does the raw venison

of vengeance transmute into a subtle and

savory stew?

 

Like a whiteboard wiped, leaving tantalizing traces of text around the edges:

The wild, chaotic scribbling did not simply disappear.

All has been recorded, ordered, processed. Blended

and brewed.

 

The precision product will not overwhelm the palate.

It will strike its target, without too much

collateral damage.

Is this the best that you can do?

 

You glimpse its outlines, as you pass mirrors and display windows,

your hypnagogic doppelganger,

you feel its weight on your chest,

breathing the breath of your paralyzed lungs:

You have met the beast, and it is you.

 

Right, left, right. Method is the order

of the day,

Night’s madness strives to co-opt it.

You can pray now, pray to do better.

Author

Julie Rosenzweig is a Jerusalem-based translator and mom. She advocates for good urbanism at the Times of Israel and on Medium.

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