Postcards from Passover: We Tell Ourselves Stories to Live (Day 4)

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 7:53 pm

Postcards from Passover: We Tell Ourselves Stories to Live (Day 4)

The photographer Matthew Septimus and I celebrate the many possibilities with a poem and a picture on this fourth day of Passover:

You have to tell your children
Exodus 13:8

When something Jewish
happens, a holiday say
or an election, friends call
me even though I am not
religious, or knowledgeable.

But I do know a few
good stories.
We tell ourselves
stories in order to live.
is this a Jewish story?
Years ago I had a friend

named Beryl Goldberg.
She got mail for another
Beryl Goldberg and they
decided to meet. They liked
one another and thought
life would be simpler
if they got an apartment
together. And then they
had a Beryl Goldbergs
party. I was invited so
I thought it would be a good
idea to invite another
Esther Cohen. There
Are many of us in the
Phone book. I live at
66 West 77 so I picked
an Esther Cohen
at 77 West 88
to come with me
to the party although
convincing was not
insignificant. Maybe because
she was a therapist and
wanted to know what
my motivation was. Telling
her I liked the two
Beryl Goldbergs was
not satisfying enough but
She begrudgingly came with me.
We never saw each other
again but I did meet
a Palestinian poet there
And we’re still friends.

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is a novelist and poet living in New York City. She’s the author of several books, including Book Doctor. Read more of her writing on her blog I Am and I Am Not.

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