brightly colored fallen leaves in yellow, purple, red, green
Autumn, realm of the world to come.
Gazelles move like writing,
cautious and surefooted,
invisible in fog.
Face north toward
the source of storms and
what is unfinished and hidden,
say our ancestors.
Stand firm in the time of withering
and plant the seeds of winter barley.
Take in the scent and sight of remnants,
crisp myrtle leaves,
sweetness of drying etrogs,
burnished red of pomegranates that resist decay.
Rachel once traded a night with her shared husband for an aphrodisiac,
love apples poisonous in quantity,
and after years unlocked secrets of timing:
her power to conceive,
to give birth and die in haste,
to speak for her exiled children
in Heshvan, month of the forever unknown.
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