Rav Samael came to me while I slept
Insisting I go with him to the City gates
Where, as most days, he would wait
In case the Messiah came. (When he lived,
Samael went every day but after his death
He’d take the occasional day off
To arbitrate the law suits of the dead
And meddle in the affairs of cats.)
The gates were as I had imagined them
Guarded by old and sleepy soldiers
Who invite us to sit with them.
The last public letter writer,
Whom I’d not seen since the 1920s,
In Paris, was there. Her table
Seemed more rickety than ever
But she was younger by a decade or two.
Her prices were fair so I told her
My ideas for this poem. Reading it over,
It seems different than I meant it to be.