My son tells me he stopped eating
hummus and falafel on Bezalel Street
after Bus #18 split in half in Jerusalem.
East or West?
My son froze, watched the Burial Society
men tweeze flesh from a tree.
Mesmerized by the Hello Kitty book bag
streaked with blood, inches from his Nike sneakers.
After the Europe explosion—London or France?—
my son went everywhere on foot, sold
his train pass to an unsuspecting kid from Kansas.
After the Aurora cinema shootings,
my son subscribed to Netflix
but never saw The Dark Knight Rises.
The shooter looked more like a dazed joker
with a bad dye job than a crazed killer.
My son settles into the car’s
passenger seat, secures the belt, and I notice the shaving gash
by his ear. I’m firing questions in staccato,
but he's fiddling with his iPhone, bopping to Labyrinth
when we both hear the boom, the backfire
of a car. And I pretend not to notice
my son’s lurch, the Book of Psalms
falling from his pocket.
Haya Pomrenze’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Hanging Loose, Rattle, Hawaii Pacific Review, MiPOesias, Lake Effect, and Lalitamba. She is the author of two poetry collections: Hook (Rock Press, 2007), which was a National Jewish Book Award nominee, and How It’s Done (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Haya is an occupational therapist and uses poetry as a healing tool on a psychiatric unit. She is also a second degree black belt in the martial arts.