Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Kinnehora

by David Axelrod

 

The Devil goes about his rounds in rags
dragging his lame foot,
pissing maelstroms of battery acid,

and as Bubbe always used to warn my sister,
the Devil pulls lizards from his bag to drop
into the open mouths of sleeping girls.

That’s our Adversary you hear now
in the next block, laughing
like a table saw cutting through boards,

and maybe that’s him, too, in the flat
upstairs, slapping the child
or scolding a very bad dog.

Bubbe would spit over her left shoulder
and mutter the counter-hex,
kinnehora,

believing the word returned our world
to stasis, a standoff
so embarrassing to our creator

he withdrew from all of creation
and has remained absent ever since,
forcing us to improvise.