Dayenu By J. C. Pucci


And then we realized
their memories were not blessings
but the ancient curse:
and you shall multiply
like the stars in heaven
and the sands on the earth,
shunned and stepped upon
How Avraham had misheard:
the hope of otherwise had covered
his ears.

This was how we met the end:
without undue rush or pride
a song of ascents, we went on crooning
in the very moment when we could be no lower.

Some spoke of simple things —
ineffable and complete
like the strength of wanderers
and poets. Others
mouthed wordless fears of
immortality undone.

Mere existence was our battle cry,
short and sweet little lives
like spots of honey we sat
observing everything, acting mostly
and in this way
we went on counting stars as if of shared fate
of some perpetual life.

That we would burn away, too
like the stars in heaven
that we would be swept away, also
like the sands of the earth
this we ignored in tremendous oblivion.

And then we realized
their memories were not blessings
but not quite a curse
and so we pretended that the stars would go on forever
and the sands would be a constant on earth
and that this world was mutable
and it was more mutable than us.
and this became our blessing
and for a moment, at least,
it was enough.

By J. C. Pucci


J. C. Pucci is a poet, teacher, musician, and accomplished daydreamer. She received her Ph.D. in Italian language & literature from Yale University where she also teaches Italian translation.

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