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triumphant glow

havdallah tonight at the albany bulb

was a contest of lights


to the west, as the sky sunk into its foggy orange sleep

the hills of marin were dancing

with salpeter siennas

and gunpowder greens


each fleeting burst of light

accompanied by a look-at-me cannon blast

before fading away

into falling ash


while to the east,

cresting over brambled sand dunes,

was a moon rise so full

it strained the seams of space

rising without fanfare

(at least that we could hear down below)


and quiet as she rose

three stars appeared

to add glitter to her cheekbones

and heft to her entourage


three stars shown

which meant

that against the sulfuric fire-clouds

one wick, and then another, caught flame


and against the silent canvas of the heavens

the falling swoons of nigunim

began to paint a prayer


so that in the contest of lights

a silent queen lit half the world in ivory glow

as tehillim wrapped her in robes of star-studded praise


while small pops gasped brightness

away like fish in the sun


leaving nothing but ash

- technicolor memories -

not much of a contest, after all

against a queen, and her steady, pearl reign

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