Chana Bloch

The Dark of Day

We were trying to keep things neat and shiny.  
Twenty-four years.							 
We had two sets of dishes—one for love,
one for hate. We kept them in separate cupboards. 
Eat love and hate at the same meal
and you'll get punished.   						 
The rabbis taught us the mathematics of dividing  	 	 
this from that. They certified     					 
the micro-moment when day tips over 				         
into night: When the third star presents itself in the sky. 
They drew a line through that eye of light, a longitude.  
You've got to navigate the evening blessing 		 
with precision, not one star too soon.  
But night comes on slowly.  			 
It takes all day.  
My friend's father was killed 
in a car crash. She hated him,  
hadn't seen him in years.  
When the police called, she drove to the ditch 
where his wrecked Chevy waited for the tow-truck.  

The body was gone. On the dashboard, broken glasses, 
an open notebook splotched with his blood.  				 
Then she was crying, not knowing why.    
She tore out a stain on the mottled paper,  			 
his ragged last breath, 
and took it into her mouth.