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Chassidus by Telephone

ISSUE:  Spring 2012

On the train home, a Bluetooth in his ear,
he listens to a lecture on fear and love,
the four kinds, lower and higher.

To get religious—what does that mean?
Sometimes it all feels like an improvisation:
the snow lifting from the tracks,

a hardboiled egg wrapped in foil, an extra
sandwich in case he meets someone who needs it.
He has no wonder story to tell, no moment

where a miracle resolved all doubt,
only a classroom after the term’s last class:
mango liquorish saved for the occasion,

blessings in the form of toasts.
Love and fear: a wordless tune
sung faster and louder,

as if that were the reason
the soul descended into this world,
to link arms with friends and sing.


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