Vitebsk, Yelets, Uglitch, Murmansk, Minsk

Dear Bella Levenshteyn
The last twenty minutes
I’ve been staring into space
Above the computer screen
After reading the notes you sent me
From your mother’s recollections of Russia
When you visited her recently in Haifa

Joyce’s Dedalus said
“History is a nightmare
From which I am trying to awaken”
To me it is a miracle
Bordering on the biblical
That you (at least) have awakened
From your family’s peripatetic nightmares

Possessed of serene clarity
Capable of going to your studio
Day after day
Producing one watercolor wonder
After another
All brimming with beauty
Like you yourself

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

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