Donald Levering


I was born from the flames
of two jet planes
that collided in the sky over Brooklyn.
One plane for Zionists.
One for Palestinians.
Most of us falling through our olive skins
resembled the Nazarene
born from a cometís tail.
My body kept burning

after the others expired.
I watched my baby brother die.
They thought Iíd stay buried
above Brooklynís shallow water table.
But I broke my motherís water
and was born again to break
Passover bread with my enemies
into one thousand crumbs.
I succumbed in the Nazi ovens.

Came back to crawl inside the clock
of a bus bomb in Jerusalem.
I returned through the subway
with my yarmulke crown,
returned with the seven lucky stars
obscured by fog
the night of my last demise.
I come back from naphtha flames
as a ragged man who blows a sad saxophone

for tossed coins in Utica Station.
I wear long sleeves to cover
my fire-scarred arms.
I play black menís promised land blues.
I don dark glasses to shield my eyes
from the refuse fires
blazing in Brooklynís storm sewers.
They thought they had me buried
with the headlines of the day

But I returned from the harems
of Moslem heaven
from a paradise of Polish women
who pampered me in Yiddish.
I escape from Ellis Island quarantine
and circle with the gulls
over garbage barges
in New York harbor
my cries flung wide.

Donald Levering's most recent poetry book is Whose Body published in 2007 by Sunstone Press. His previous poetry books include The Kingdom of Ignorance (Finishing Line Press), The Fast Of Thoth (Pudding House), Horsetail (Woodley Press), The Jack Of Spring (Swamp Press), Carpool (Tellus), Mister Ubiquity (Pudding House Press), and Outcroppings From Navajoland (Navajo Community College Press). In 2007 he was a Featured Poet on the Academy of American Poets online Forum. Donald works as a human services administrator in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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