I am not the same person I was
When assigned to this world as dust
A thin particulate layer like the surface of the moon
Imprinted by what last landed there. Soon
I will blow somewhere in an assignation.
I’ll drift onto your tongue as an affirmation.

A second later you’ll swear I never happened.
This is half-true. I never penned
The answers to the query my life asked.
I never organized. I rarely multi-tasked.
Yet there was something the dust says.
Never invited but with all the s’il-vous-plaits.

What is the meaning of all the flattened softness?
What if I’m adrift, unsung, unsought, no Loch Ness?
Meaning is a construct. Dust: eternal layer.
Biome is speculative. Planet steals from air.
Our species creates its own betrayed collective.
It dies into the dust. It rises again to let live.

Zackary Sholem Berger

Zackary Sholem Berger is a poet and translator in Yiddish, English, and Hebrew living in Baltimore, where he works as a physician.