Isabel Owen


View from Atop Mount Herzl

The State built Yad Vashem in a winding



from the museum,

see the glowing, the white hills of Jerusalem,

and a sun a confirmation.

In 1945 my great-grandfather traveled from Brooklyn

to Poland.   Dr. Stern

with a suitcase of surgical supplies and a letter

from Celia in his breast-pocket. Maybe

he saw in the bumps of emaciated rib-bone the white

hills of Jerusalem? Nonlinear conclusions.

Moreso, he must have felt a lacking:

Filling in, the tub in the bathroom of my mother’s

first home   overfilling

soapy suds on a purple-tiled floor & and young laughter

I think about how his serotonin wavered,

more like airport highways than white hills.

I know he kept a garden

in his Queens home

but cried    into mirror glass in old age.

I don’t speak Hebrew but the shema

reminds me of my own

ribcage—smooth flat fatty skin,

the topography of the tri-state.

Moreso I occasionally lay on bathroom tile cold & wonder purple

Isabel Owen is a sophomore English (creative writing) and history double major with a minor in Latin American studies at SUNY Geneseo. She likes to post poems in unexpected places and pretend that she didn’t do it, even though everyone knows that she did.