yahrzeit for my past self – a poem by Rana Bickel

yahrzeit for my past self 


a broken glass 
wrapped tenderly in a napkin

a soft black skirt 
a faded siddur

first i say the mourners kadish 
to an empty room

yisgadal viyiskadash shemey rabba
my tallis wrapped around my living shoulders

(they say that every single cell in your body is different than it was seven years before
i Know this to be true)

i inhale the spices, flirt with the flame and drown 
the many wicked candle in the red

then i tear off my clothes
and run into the sea


Rana Bickel (she/they) is a queer Jewish poet from Maryland residing in Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Barnard College where she was a member of the slam poetry team. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bourgeon Magazine, Thimble Literary Magazine, and the Jewish Literary Journal. She loves books, community, and rainstorms. 

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