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
into its own
stone jacket. loony
in brittle furniture: lone
in a rooming house, even
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.
Listen to Susan Comninos discuss her inspiration for ‘pecan, rodef, clam’:
Listen to Susan Comninos read her poem out loud: