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  • Detester Magazine


Written by: Newton Brophy

I led my first Mourner’s Kaddish

during a Shabbat dinner

in the third Spring.

My Aramaic was clumsy,

but the silence —

Over 2,000 people had died

between that Shabbos

and the previous,

and that’s just here.

The dinner was a poetry reading

with new friends

and no empty chairs

but the shroud of absence

was heavy over the table.

This morning I wake up

to my father bickering with his wife

about how her decorating taste

spreads like ivy through the house

leaving him no untouched wall.

He says we will not have people over,

and anyway,

it’s Covid.

My stepmother snaps back,

“You can’t use that as an excuse, Covid is over.”

I wonder how long

it would take me to say


six million times.

I hate

that someone has asked this question


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