February 08

The Accidental Aryan

Jonathan Everett Maseng

Hatred is a lake
as on a burning day
a child comes to low
himself upon the bank.

So long he dangles
daring toe a foot
above the gloom,
if only for the coolness
of such a simple trick:
the turn he makes
into the fathomless
bones of nature.

What harm is there
in slipping a single
ankle into the deep
and then a bleeding foot?

He cut his toes upon
the rocks and now
he hurries, passing
limbs beneath the line
as liquid rises to his ears.

A startled goose
acknowledges the danger
of his lonely enterprise
as growing bolder,
he lowers locks beneath
the waves.

So cool, so chill is he
that to the world
he seems an iceberg,
floating crown above
and bulk below;

And there, in those waters,
he wonders why anything
against him rises
and he is master in the lake.


Hiddur Queztal by Maya Escobar.


Jonathan Everett Maseng is currently studying English Literature at the City College of New York, where he was named the 2007 recipient of the James Emanuel Poetry Prize. He has served as an associate editor of the The Promethean, and he is currently participating in the ongoing Jewish Arts Training Institute at the Isabella Freedman retreat center.