Issue #3 // This Painting // Josh Elbaum

a reproduction/ our only photo/ that survived
the war/ sister Dora/ the same one still knocking
on the wrong side/ of the wrong door/ each night/
looks to the left of the camera/ hand a thirsty
flower/ broken dove’s wing/ eye brows raised/ as if watching
a monarch emerge/ from chrysalis/ curious
about the fate/ of beauty’s survival
when they came/ only the photographs were saved
my grandmother left/ all else for ash/ was denied/ even this/
dragged/ from the synagogue/ her father/ the pictures
left inside/ to be burned/ as one
an old school teacher/ kept photos/ her favorite students
mailed this one/ from Israel/ to America/ winged migration
before the frost/ now I couldn’t tell you/ where it hangs
an apartment gutted/ after funeral/ perhaps
the sister of my grandmother/ stares at unused
card tables/ boxes marked/ children’s clothes
notes of sunlight/ that pierce/ basement windows
or maybe/ she watches/ over my infant
cousin in her crib/ every modern ghost
terrified/ by this woman
who stares/ unblinking at them/ yet
does not scream


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