Cousins, I am tracking you
to the ends of the virtual
Earth. I am prowling midnight alleys of
of the Internet. I am knocking on desperate doors,
searching for files. I am obsessed. My family
says it’s unhealthy. There is no web address
so distant that I won’t surf there. They know me
at Yad Vashem. They call me by my first name
at the YIVO archives. Gomel State University, may I introduce
myself? I am launching e-mail into the heavens like the
Soviet space program of 1959. I am
Brookline’s first space dog, sniffing for
celestial bones. In my mind, I have
crossed the frozen Dniepr many times to find
your home empty on the Byelorussian
shore. I have searched the snow on
your shtetl streets to find your
Toward the east, to the Volga, and safety?
Toward the west, to Aushwicz, and death?
Like an avalanche, history buried you
under metric tons of World Wars and pogroms,
of revolutions and deportations, of partitions
and re-partitions. Now a conflict with Poland,
now a war with Germany, now the Cossacks charge,
and then like an iridescent exclamation point,
Chernobyl explodes–in your backyard, yet. Nu, where else?
Obscurity failed you. Did you manage to chuckle
at your Jewish luck? Did you shrug your shoulders
and make a little joke with God?
Cousins, aunts and uncles, wait for me. I am tracking you, but
the snow is deep, and I am lost
in the absolute fog of time.