The Jew is green. No one could make him
more bilious. He is green beyond metaphor,
beyond envy. This Jew is the green of a child’s
crayon, of bubble-trees and dinosaurs, of print
on the cheap. Fringed by fiery forelocks,
a beard like flame, his green wearies him.
He wants it off, but he has been chosen.
One eye droops; the other glares like Jonah’s
from beneath his bean vine. The green Jew
holds his hand as if it pained him, as if
it were a yad for the text on which he rests.
Even without looking, he can imagine
what it says, that God is not done with him,
that the shtetls will soon empty of all but salt.
Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She has five chapbooks out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements(Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). More of her individual poems can be found here as well as in The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Inflectionist; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Noble Gas Quarterly; Muse A/Journal, and more.
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