Sand was running from their mouths,

but we thought it was Salt,

and our food would taste better;

soon the earth was covered with dunes

of Sand and Sacrifice – Still life

of military genius Set free:

the children of the few who Sat

by the rivers of Babylon and wept for their city,

the even fewer infants Spared

from Herod’s Sword

only to grow up witnessing the burning

of the Sacred Scrolls in Alexandria –

the earliest Holocaust of knowledge –

and the thousands of Hansels-and-Gretels of Europe

never to be rescued from the Ogre’s furnaces

are now potash


on the Shores of the Dead Sea.


(We know all this – said a preschooler –

tell us who killed the sea.)



Elena Malec, California 1997