pecan, rodef, clam

like any nut zipped up

tight in its shell. like a clam’s

clipped momser, the locked

maw talked open

by fire — by burly water

waitressing flesh, flat as a tongue,

to sterile plates. under fissures, a

soft sloth, holy fruit, hare

-lipped by cleavers,

the devil’s hand. sweet

meat of the tree. bone

boy, edible kernel, marrow

of roots, hung up

on earth. like a palmed

pit, disappeared

into its own

stone jacket. loony

seed

in brittle furniture: lone

in a rooming house, even

halved, only

one twin per womb.


rodef (Hebrew): a fetus posing a threat to its mother’s life. According to Jewish law, it may be aborted up to the point of crowning.

momser (Yiddish): an illegitimate child.

Susan Comninos’s poetry has appeared in Lilith, Tikkun, Judaism and “The Blueline Anthology” (Syracuse University Press, 2004), among others. Her fiction is forthcoming in Quarterly West.


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