Culture, Identity, Peoplehood

Exile by Julia Knobloch

I have come to sojourn in desert vastness where
the wind won’t cease
Purple glow on fallen branches, palm tree fronds

Gleaming copper eyes surveil the flats at dusk
I have come to know you, vacant city
your orange groves that grew west of Western Avenue

live on in street names, enclosed residences
Fragrances of green and yellow, road blocks, neon signs
I have learned to hallow time under immobile skies

The ground has been quiet since September
Rabbis urge me to join their prayer
in brittle mornings, I have found comfort in my isolation

I have grown acquainted with the voices of your night
Will I still know you when you reclaim your birthright?

Julia Knobloch is a student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Her debut poetry collection Do Not Return was published in 2019 by Broadstone Books and her chapbook Book of Failed Salvation is forthcoming with Ben Yehuda Press

Heshbon HaNefesh – A Poetic Accounting of a Pandemic Year is an independent group of poets and artists marking one year of the pandemic in North America. Click here for more about this project.

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