Estee Mazor


                                    to a daughter

Set the wimples on fire, you did, your hair a lava,
      molten, red, your naphtha spilt, the white sheets lit
            when you drew him into your belly that first night.

Noon slips in and out stilly. Time is marked by need ––
      yours and his –– not hours, anymore.
            And his sleep is your sleep, now. It rises up

and foams your lips, slips its crust beneath your lids,
      scumbles your dreams. In his mouth, your mouth
            awash a thousand new tongues learns. In his mouth,

your mouth galloping a thousand new countries travels,
      countries greener than Ireland,
            enigmatic as Qatar ––

far countries which confide in you their landscapes
      but withhold their precise names.
            With his teeth he lays rubies at your throat.

A polite young man, doorless,
      sfumato of husband and father he’ll become,
            he encircles you like smoke, moves in like weather

blowing westward from the desert — the hamsim of Safed,
      eddies of sand swirling in scorched air, lifting prayer
            from the mouths of Sisters of the Holy Sepulchre,

grit mingling with spit forming grout of devotion
      as they stand, white like flint, absorbing sun beneath habit,
            clutching patience and waiting to ignite.