Four Way Books
New Messiahs
by Henry Israeli

ISBN: 1-884800-35-1
paper, 60 pages, $14.95

      In the country of confusion my father
passes by clumsily on a three-speed
      unaware of the state he inhabits.
You might say he's confused, and mistakes
      long silences for the luscious drone
of an angel's wing sweeping overhead.
      You might say he cannot focus on
confusion, that he rides along the sunny
      streets of disorientation as if he were
gliding over them, an insect following
      the ancestral scent to the cave.
I wave and he nods a little, lowering
      his chin. Think of me, I think aloud,
hoping he registers the amplification
      and frequency somewhere along the ride.
Don't worry, I hear him call out,
      I know this country well. How could you,
I ask. How could you.
      He jerks the handlebars right and left
and turns out of sight. All night I invent
      dreams of betrayal and loss,
where at the end of the road the inexplicable
      divides from the unexplained,
and the ringing of my father's little bell
      stops the traffic cold.