I’ve forgotten his name, but in the photo his boot is resting on the skirt of a tank as he holds up a stubby pencil in one hand and a Galil rifle in the other. “I told you I send you picture,” reads the back. My sister’s high school pen pal was an Israeli soldier in Gaza. Our aunt, Lebanese. So he became a secret. People eating the same food in an area as stifling as a kitchen should be the general dynamic for peace, not war. My aunt learned to cook kielbasa like Magda Gessler under the tutelage of my grandmother, who threw empty beer cans at her until they won each other’s love. A garbled mosque speaker whispers into the ear of the recusant, while phylacteries bind the arm with leather like a sling. The white-hot scimitar hanging over the Middle East fades like a silver moon in a sky of gold for now.

Steve Lapinsky

Steve’s work has appeared in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, The Gettysburg Review, Mid-American Review and Caliban Online. He received his MA in poetry from the University of Texas at Austin and a MFA in poetry at Florida State University. He is also a classically trained sushi chef. He teaches first year composition and creative writing at Florida A&M University.

Share This