Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Packing the Car

After the suitcase fills with clothes, he gathers
four birth certificates, one marriage license, the deed
to a home for leaving. She grabs their passports
stamped in Israel, throws them in the bag beside
his Azulfidine, her Gilenya, her Baclofen, Flexeril,
Albuterol, Qvar, Lexapro, Xanax, Zolpidem . . .
The Lipitor is for them both. He pulls his hard drive,
fits his mother’s plated ring to the top knuckle
on his smallest finger. She takes the good jewelry
and appraisals, remembers her laptop, but forgets
the cord. From a nail in the dining room wall,
they pull their eldest daughter’s linocut. It sits
under glass in a silver frame on the backseat
of his Camry. One dead bird and three rabbinical
men looming. The image leans against the shroud
of her favorite uncle’s painting wrapped for travel.
She can’t see her unlined face through the sheet.
Inside the house, she thumbs the baby books, reads
inscriptions in her cursive. With them she places
her gilt-edged bible. Its lace cover pricks her wrist
as it did down the aisle. When the bookmark falls
she resets her garter and its charms. A small padlock
shaped like a heart, the key shaped like a key.  

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