by Sonya Taaffe
With a face like a gallows woodcut and a book of twenty-two names, your hanging ancestor looks at me out of Hawthorne, the minister who steepled his hands at Salem and died with blood in his throat. History chokes up its emblems like affliction, pins and witch-cakes, chalices, pentacles, prayers. We walked the wharves among tourists and museums, shadows cracked into granite and sea air. The demons I brought to our marriage rustle like bats in the eaves, read Kreytman and Margolin af yidish, accept no one's fealty but their own.
August 27th, 2015