Poem | [From “The Naomi Letters”] January 23, 2017

January, 20 2020

There is another version of the story in which we survive nothing by accident.

This is the god, Adonai, that my grandmother prays to—the one who paired the animals
        before lifting his invisible hands to the sky. The one who summoned the water.

(The one who drowned all the sinners, Naomi.)

In this version, we might call my hunger a marker of fate, the first words of a conversation
        between a body and its creator.

In the Torah, our ancestors always make the same mistake:

They think each story begins and ends with them.

(Look closer at the paired zebras, the tigers—see their stripes shift in the dark?)

In this version of the story,  my first letter to you is carried by a protective, unseeable hand.

In this version, I can be doomed but never wrong.

Rachel Mennies is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, the 2014 winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry and a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. She lives in Chicago and currently serves as AGNI’s reviews editor.

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