October 07

In The Beginning

Jake Marmer

people are for sure dancing

somewhere with scrolls. My calendar

says, and it’s not like I don’t know.

In this bar, nobody rolls

anything but eyes backwards

and the glasses are raised to less

transcendental causes. We’re talking

Lukacz and ex-girlfriends. Leo got no

assimilated idea, laughing with disbelief

when I tell him. I come

back to the library, picking up random

books off the Slavic shelf, checking on

all the diligent girls in the lounge.

In Shklovsky’s hands, voices separate

from narratives like neat flesh-colored ribbons

for another few hours. I wonder over

to the subway, returning home long

after bodies rolled up in their blankets.

Dawn’s rubbing hands, ready to crack

dreams. Theirs, in the end, mine –

in the beginning


image: Frida Kahlo by Abshalom Jac Lahav from his 35 Jews series. Lahav's work has been featured as this month's cover art here.


Jake Marmer is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at CUNY and works for Random House. He is the managing editor of Mima'amakim Journal of Jewish Art, and his new avant-punk band is the Frantic Turtle.