Round like a Passover pancake
watchful and silent moon
has ascended over the rooftops,
Kaddish prayers have long diffused,
candles flicker out
dybbuks lurking in the corners
study the white gowns and loose black hair of the sleeping women.
Mice prowl in the walls,
stone wells tranquil,
olive oil lamps keep quiet vigil
while their flames dance with the shadows of the brooms and fire hooks.
Commodes and cupboards being covered in dust
and all the creatures inert and waxen.
Sleep, living things,
the night guardian
has paused the clock now.
“Now, he notices only my absence, the things I have not done: a thin layer of dust in the hallway, an unprepared meal in the pantry. I’ve started abandoning tasks just to see if he notices, the calculated neglect like a beam from a distant lighthouse.”